|Title||Peltier-Actuated Microvalve Performance Optimization|
|Publication Type||Proceedings Article|
|Year of Conference||2005|
|Authors||Welle RP, Hardy BS|
|Conference Name||Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Thermoelectrics:, ICT2005|
|Conference Start Date||June 2005|
|Conference Location||Clemson, SC USA|
Valves for microfluidic systems have, for various reasons, proven to be difficult to fabricate, cumbersome to operate, and/or unreliable. We have explored the performance of a novel microfluidic valve formed by creating a flow channel past a Peltier junction. Using the Peltier junction as a thermoelectric cooler causes the fluid in the valve to freeze, forming a plug that blocks flow through the valve. This type of valve is fundamentally leak-free, has no moving parts, and is electrically actuated. We have fabricated several experimental prototypes and evaluated their performance. We find that they are reliably capable of closing in less than 100 ms, and of opening substantially faster.