Theoretical analysis and optimization of electromagnetic actuation in a valveless microimpedance pump

Hsien Tsung Chang, Chia Yen Lee, Chih-yung Wen, Boe Shong Hong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The construction of a novel valveless microimpedance pump is proposed and the utilized electromagnetic actuator is designed and optimized in this study. The actuating mechanism comprises an electroplated permanent magnet mounted on a flexible PDMS diaphragm and electroplated Cu coils located on a glass substrate. The electromagnetic force between the magnet and the Cu coils causes the diaphragm to deflect and then creates the accumulative effects of wave propagation and reflection at the junction of the compressible and rigid sections. The resulting pressure gradient in the fluid drives the flow from the inlet to the outlet of the micropump. The constituent parts of the electromagnetic actuator, namely the diaphragm, the microcoils, and the magnet are modeled and analyzed in order to optimize the actuator design. The design models are verified both theoretically and numerically and the relationships between the magnetic force, diaphragm displacement, and diaphragm strength are established. The magnitude of the magnetic force acting on the flexible diaphragm are calculated using Ansoft/Maxwell3D FEA software and the resulting diaphragm deflection simulated by ANSYS FEA software are found to agree with the theoretical predictions. Different diaphragm shapes are investigated and their relative strength and flexibility are compared. It is found that a circular PDMS diaphragm represents the most appropriate choice for the actuating mechanism in the micropump. The desired diaphragm deflection of 15 μm is obtained using a compression force of 16 μN, generated by a coil input current of 0.9 A. The diaphragm deflection can be regulated by varying the current passed through the microcoil and hence the flow rate can be controlled. The valveless microimpedance pump proposed in this study is easily fabricated and can be readily integrated with existing biomedical chips due to its plane structure. The results of the present study provide a valuable contribution to the ongoing development of Lab-on-a Chip systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-799
Number of pages9
JournalMicroelectronics Journal
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Electromagnetic actuator
  • Liebau phenomenon
  • Microelectro mechanical system (MEMS)
  • PDMS diaphragm
  • Valveless microimpedance pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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