A magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) micropump and microsensor which utilizes micromachining to integrate the electrodes with microchannels and includes a magnet for producing magnetic fields perpendicular to both the electrical current direction and the fluid flow direction. The magnet can also be micromachined and integrated with the micropump using existing technology. The MHD micropump, for example, can generate continuous, reversible flow, with readily controllable flow rates. The flow can be reversed by either reversing the electrical current flow or reversing the magnetic field. By mismatching the electrodes, a swirling vortex flow can be generated for potential mixing applications. No moving parts are necessary and the dead volume is minimal. The micropumps can be placed at any position in a fluidic circuit and a combination of micropumps can generate fluidic plugs and valves.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.