Fabrication of a cantilever-based microfluidic flow meter with nL min(-1) resolution

Nadine-Nicole Noeth, Stephan Sylvest Keller, Anja Boisen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    A microfluidic flow meter based on cantilever deflection is developed, showing a resolution down to 3 nL min(-1) for flows in the microliter range. The cantilevers are fabricated in SU-8 and have integrated holes with dimensions from 5 x 5 to20x 20 mu m(2). The holes make it possible to measure in a liquid environment. With a lithography optimization, holes as small as 3 x 3 mu m(2) can be opened. Further on, an isotropic Si etch step is inserted into the fabrication sequence to ensure a high release yield of the devices (percentage of usable/not broken chips compared to the amount of released chips). With this etch the cantilever structures are under-etched before they are released by tweezers and the release yield is enhanced from 41.5% to 84.0%. In a continuous flow mode, the deflection of the cantilevers is directly proportional to the flow rate. By tuning the design of the integrated grid (hole size, hole-to-hole distance, amount of holes, etc) the sensitivity of the sensor can be changed.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)015007
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Sensors (chemical, optical, electrical, movement, gas, etc.); remote sensing
    • Fluidics
    • Instrumentation and measurement methoin fluid dynamicsds

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