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

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7 Author(s)
D. C. Roberts ; Continuum Photonics Inc., Billerica, MA, USA ; Hanqing Li ; J. L. Steyn ; O. Yaglioglu
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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.

Published in:

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