Skip to Main Content
A bistable electromagnetically actuated microvalve was designed, processed, and tested. The valve was designed to control a water flow of 0.05-0.5 /spl mu/s from a reservoir at a pressure of 1-2000 Pa. The two valve components were fabricated in silicon, the upper piece comprises an electroplated gold coil, and the lower piece is an Ni/Fe alloy beam. The bistable capability was achieved by balancing the elastic forces on the beam with the magnetic forces due to a 46-/spl mu/m-thick rolled magnetic foil. The design includes the flow through the orifice, squeeze film damping due to beam motion, beam elasticity, and electromagnetics. The microvalve was tested for power consumption, flow rate, time response, Ni/Fe alloy composition, and magnetic foil properties. The valve operates at 1-2 V in both air and water.