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A piezoelectric microvalve for compact high-frequency, high-differential pressure hydraulic micropumping systems

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7 Author(s)
Roberts, D.C. ; Continuum Photonics Inc., Billerica, MA, USA ; Hanqing Li ; Steyn, J.L. ; Yaglioglu, O.
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A piezoelectrically driven hydraulic amplification microvalve for use in compact high-performance hydraulic pumping systems was designed, fabricated, and experimentally characterized. High-frequency, high-force actuation capabilities were enabled through the incorporation of bulk piezoelectric material elements beneath a micromachined annular tethered-piston structure. Large valve stroke at the microscale was achieved with an hydraulic amplification mechanism that amplified (40×-50×) the limited stroke of the piezoelectric material into a significantly larger motion of a micromachined valve membrane with attached valve cap. These design features enabled the valve to meet simultaneously a set of high frequency (≥1 kHz), high pressure(≥300 kPa), and large stroke (20-30 μm) requirements not previously satisfied by other hydraulic flow regulation microvalves. This paper details the design, modeling, fabrication, assembly, and experimental characterization of this valve device. Fabrication challenges are detailed.

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Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 1 )