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Proceedings Paper

Peltier-actuated microvalves: performance characterization
Author(s): Richard P. Welle; Brian S. Hardy; Michael J. O'Brien
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Paper Abstract

Valves for microfluidic systems have, for various reasons, proven to be difficult to fabricate, cumbersome to operate, and/or unreliable. We have explored the performance of a novel microfluidic valve formed by creating a flow channel past a Peltier junction. Using the Peltier junction as a thermoelectric cooler causes the fluid in the valve to freeze, forming a plug that blocks flow through the valve. Reversing the current in the Peltier junction causes the fluid to melt, reopening the valve. This type of valve is fundamentally leak-free, has no moving parts, and is electrically actuated. We have fabricated an experimental prototype capable of closing in less than one second, and of opening substantially faster. We have also developed a finite-element thermal model of the valve, and exercised it to optimize valve design. An optimized valve is predicted to have a cycle time on the order of 10 ms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5591, Lab-on-a-Chip: Platforms, Devices, and Applications, (8 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.578367
Show Author Affiliations
Richard P. Welle, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Brian S. Hardy, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Michael J. O'Brien, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5591:
Lab-on-a-Chip: Platforms, Devices, and Applications
Linda A. Smith; Daniel Sobek, Editor(s)

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