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Published January 2002 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Marching velocity of capillary meniscuses in microchannels


This paper describes a new method and an analytical model for characterizing the surface energy inside a microchannel using the measurement of the marching velocity of a capillary meniscus. This method is based on the fact that surface tension of a liquid meniscus in a hydrophilic case produces pressure to pull liquid into the channel and the velocity of the meniscus is related to the surface energy. Both Parylene and silicon nitride microchannels with different surface conditions were fabricated to perform the liquid-filling experiments. It is shown that our model agrees well with the data and this is a valid method.

Additional Information

© 2002 IEEE. The authors want to thank the helps from Dr. Xing Yang and Mr. Ken Walsh of the Caltech Micromachining group. This project is also partially supported by the NSF Engineering Research Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering (CNSE) at Caltech and National Science Foundation (NSC) from Taiwan, R.O.C.

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