Presented at NSTI Nanotech, Santa Clara, CA, May 2007
By David Henderson
New Scale Technologies
We present the world’s smallest linear motor and its use in tiny syringe and reciprocating piston pumps for microfluidic applications. SQUIGGLE® motors create direct displacement pumps that achieve nanoliter precision in a pump assembly the size of a pen cap.
In this design, linear motion directly moves a piston or bellows. The output pressure and flow are easily scaled by adjusting the piston diameter. A reference pump design is presented that achieves output pressure of 255 kPa, flow of 0.24 ml per minute at an oscillation frequency of 0.8 Hz and flow precision of 0.8 nl. In contrast, commercial oscillating membrane pumps are much larger, generate a 20 Hz or higher pulse frequency and produce much lower output pressure and accuracy.
SQUIGGLE motor pumps can miniaturize a variety of instruments including lab-on-a-chip systems, drug delivery devices, micro fuel cells, cooled computer chips, lubrication systems, spacecraft thrusters and liquid optics.