A normally closed electrostatic parylene microvalve for micro total analysis systems

This paper presents an electrostatically actuated, normally closed microvalve for parylene microfluidics. The proposed valve structure isolates the fluid from the electric field, and hence results in relatively low actuation potentials (<60 V) irrespective of the working fluid. Hereby, the microvalve solves electrolysis or electrode shielding problems observed in electrostatic actuation in micro total analysis systems. To investigate leakage properties, microvalves were tested under pressurized flow with de-ionized (DI) water. No detectable leakage ratio was observed up to 20 kPa inlet pressure, due to the unique semicircular valve seat design. It was shown that the valve seat could be reconfigured to enable sealing at various pressure levels for different applications.