In this paper, a simply-designed reciprocating-type micropump is presented. We also report the coupling effects between the valve motion and the flow behaviors, which were studied using a micro-PIV technique. The fluids were easily driven by a PZT plate and net flow was directed toward the outlet after rectification by two planar passive valves. The results revealed that good pumping performance was obtained even at a low excitation voltage of 10V. The optimum flow rate was measured at a frequency of 0.8kHz and the maximum flow rate was 275μl/min at 30V. The micropump was uniquely characterized by the existence of a linear relationship between the flow rate and the driving frequency, which enabled this micropump to be easily operated and controlled. The experimental results showed that the micropump was reliable in terms of the high linearity and repeatability, which is very favorable for portable microfluidic systems. The micro-PIV measurements of the transient motions of the valve and the flow behaviors clearly revealed that the valve efficiency depended on the mass inertia of the moving part, excitation frequency, and voltage. The present results are useful for the optimum design of this planar passive valve to improve the pumping efficiency.

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