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Localized high temperature due to Joule heating in Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) can generate micron-sized bubbles. Electro-thermal property of CNTs-based microbubble generator is characterized by finite element analysis in this paper. Water circumstance with volume in micrometer scale covering solid elements of the microdevice was considered. Temperature distribution and power input corresponding to microbubble nucleation at the centre of the heating elements were evaluated. Free water convection was used to set thermal boundary condition at the liquid-solid interface before micobubble generation. The steady-state, time-transient and parametric simulations have been performed. The results of relationship between power consumption, material properties such as thermal conductivity, and device configuration ( such as the number of CNTs, electrode thickness, electrode gap, etc.) could be a guidance to the design and fabrication of this kind of microbubble generator.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Jan. 2009