Skip to Main Content
In this paper, a new concept and potential demonstration of functional microfluidic integrated circuits using MEMS technology are presented. The fluidic integrated circuits were constructed utilizing analogous relationship between MOSFET and pneumatic microvalve with a diaphragm structure. The signal transmitted through the circuit is the fluidic signal, that is, the pressure or the flow-rate of the fluid. The pneumatic microvalve in this study is expressed by small-signal equivalent model similar to that of a MOSFET. Small signal behavior of microfluidic integrated circuits can be expected using the model, if the parameters in the model are extracted properly from fabricated microvalves. As an example of a fluidic circuit, pressure inverting amplifiers including integrated two microvalves were fabricated and evaluated. As a result, they showed sharp pressure transfer curves similar to MOS inverter circuits. A maximum pressure gain of 32.0 dB was obtained, and it can be used for pressure amplification in analog applications. In addition, they can be used as pressure inverter logic circuits for digital applications. Although the theory and design environment of the new microvalve circuit technology have not been established yet, multifunctional fluidic analog and digital circuits can be realized for special application fields different from electronic integrated circuits.