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We present a micromachined differential viscosity detector suitable for integration into an on-chip hydrodynamic chromatography system. The general design, however, is applicable to any liquid chromatography system that is used for separation of polymers. The micromachined part of the detector consists of a fluidic Wheatstone bridge and a low hydraulic capacitance pressure sensor of which the pressure sensing is based on optical detection of a membrane deflection. The stand-alone sensor shows a resolution in specific viscosity of 3×10-3, in which specific viscosity is defined as the increase in viscosity by a sample, relative to the baseline viscosity of a solvent.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2005