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- A completely integrated microreactor was developed that allows for the processing of very small amounts of chemical solutions. The entire system comprises several pumps and valves arranged in different branches as well as a mixing unit and a reaction chamber. The streaming path of each branch contains two valves and one pump each. The pumps are driven by piezoelectric elements mounted on thin glass membranes. Each pump is about 3.5 mm x 3.5 mm x 0.7 mm. A pumping rate up to 25 microliters per hour can be achieved. The operational voltage ranges between 40 and 200 V. A volume stroke up to 1.5 millimeter is achievable from the membrane structures. The valves are designed as passive valves. Sealing is by thin metal films. The dimension of a valve unit is 0.8 x 0.8. 07 mm. The ends of the separate streaming branches are arranged to meet in one point. This point acts as the beginning of a mixer unit which contains several fork-shaped channels. The arrangement of these channels allows for the division of the whole liquid stream into partial streams and their reuniting. A homogeneous mixing of solutions and/or gases can be observed after having passed about 10 of the fork elements. A reaction chamber is arranged behind the mixing unit to support the chemical reaction of special fluids. This unit contains heating elements placed outside of the chamber. The complete system is arranged in a modular structure and is built up of silicon. It comprises three silicon wafers bonded together by applying the silicon direct bonding technology. The silicon structures are made only by wet chemical etching processes. The fluid connections to the outside are realized using standard injection needles glued into v-shaped structures on the silicon wafers. It is possible to integrate other components, like sensors or electronic circuits using silicon as the basic material.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19960054137.
Accession ID: 96N36383.
- No Copyright.
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