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A Bubble-Free AC Electrokinetic Micropump Using the Asymmetric Capacitance-Modulated Microelectrode Array for Microfluidic Flow Control

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2 Author(s)
Ching-Te Kuo ; Res. Center for Appl. Sci., Acad. Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan ; Cheng-Hsien Liu

A novel ac electrokinetic micropumping device based on ac electro-osmotic flow induced by asymmetrically capacitance/chemistry-modulated microelectrode arrays has been successfully developed and demonstrated. Asymmetric capacitance modulation is made of comb electrode arrays and parts of individual electrode surfaces are modulated/deposited with a SiO2 dielectric layer. This proposed design can be utilized to shift the optimal operation frequency of maximum velocity from tens of kilohertz to megahertz to minimize electrolytic bubble generation and enhance micropumping performance. The pumping velocity, described in this paper, is measured via the tracing of microbeads and is a function of applied potential, signal frequency, buffer concentration, and dielectric layer thickness. A maximum pumping velocity up to 290 ??m ??s-1 in 5-mM buffer solution with the applied potential of 10 Vpp is observed in our prototype device, and the estimated maximum flow rate is up to 26.1 ??l ??h-1. This is the first successful demonstration regarding bubble-free ac electrokinetic micropumping via such an asymmetrically capacitance-modulated electrode arrays. Design, simulation, microfabrication, experimental result, and theoretical model are described in this paper to characterize and exhibit the performance of proposed novel bubble-free ac electrokinetic micropump.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Feb. 2009

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