Proportional Microvalve Using a Unimorph Piezoelectric Microactuator

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Microvalves are important flow-control devices in many standalone and integrated microfluidic applications. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based pneumatic microvalves are commonly used but they generally require large peripheral connections that decrease portability. There are many alternatives found in the literature that use Si-based microvalves, but variants that can throttle even moderate pressures (1) tend to be bulky (cm-range) or consume high power. This paper details the development of a low-power, normally-open piezoelectric microvalve to control flows with a maximum driving pressure of 1, but also retain a small effective form-factor of 5x5x1.8. A novel combination of rapid prototyping methods like stereolithography and laser-cutting have been used to realize this device. The maximum displacement of the fabricated piezoelectric microactuator was measured to be 8.5 at 150. The fabricated microvalve has a flow range of 0–90 at 1 inlet pressure. When fully closed, a leakage of 0.8 open-flow was observed with a power-consumption of 37.5. A flow resolution of 0.2— De-ionized (DI) water was measured at 0.5 pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number130
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • microvalve
  • microactuator
  • piezoelectric
  • unimorph
  • stereolithography
  • 3D-printing


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