A suspended microchannel with integrated temperature sensors for high-pressure flow studies
A freestanding microchannel, with integrated temperature sensors, has been developed for high-pressure flow studies. These microchannels are approximately 20μm x 2μm x 4400μm, and are suspended above 80 μm deep cavities, bulk micromachined using BrF3 dry etch. The calibration of the lightly boron-doped thermistor-type sensors shows that the resistance sensitivity of these integrated sensors is parabolic with respect to temperature and linear with respect to pressure. Volumetric flow rates of N2 in the microchannel were measured at inlet pressures up to 578 psig. The discrepancy between the data and theory results from the flow acceleration in a channel, the non-parabolic velocity profile, and the bulging of the channel. Bulging effects were evaluated by using incompressible water flow measurements, which also measures 1.045x10^-3N-s/m^2 for the viscosity of DI water. The temperature data from sensors on the channel shows the heating of the channel due to the friction generated by the high-pressure flow inside.