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Design, fabrication, and testing of micromachined silicone rubber membrane valves

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3 Author(s)
Xing Yang ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Grosjean, C. ; Yu-Chong Tai

Technologies for fabricating silicone rubber membranes and integrating them with other processes on silicon wafers have been developed. Silicone rubber has been found to have exceptional mechanical properties including low modulus, high elongation, and good sealing. Thermopneumatically actuated, normally open, silicone rubber membrane valves with optimized components have been designed, fabricated, and tested. Suspended silicon nitride membrane heaters have been developed for low-power thermopneumatic actuation. Composite silicone rubber on Parylene valve membranes have been shown to have low permeability and modulus. Also, novel valve seats were designed to improve sealing in the presence of particles. The valves have been extensively characterized with respect to power consumption versus flow rate and transient response. Low power consumption, high flow rate, and high pressure have been demonstrated. For example, less than 40 mW is required to switch a 1-slpm nitrogen flow at 33 psi. Water requires dose to 100 mW due to the cooling effect of the liquid

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 4 )