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Micromachined chemical jet dispenser

United States Patent

5,877,580
March 2, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A dispenser for chemical fluid samples that need to be precisely ejected in size, location, and time. The dispenser is a micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) device fabricated in a bonded silicon wafer and a substrate, such as glass or silicon, using integrated circuit-like fabrication technology which is amenable to mass production. The dispensing is actuated by ultrasonic transducers that efficiently produce a pressure wave in capillaries that contain the chemicals. The 10-200 .mu.m diameter capillaries can be arranged to focus in one spot or may be arranged in a larger dense linear array (.about.200 capillaries). The dispenser is analogous to some ink jet print heads for computer printers but the fluid is not heated, thus not damaging certain samples. Major applications are in biological sample handling and in analytical chemical procedures such as environmental sample analysis, medical lab analysis, or molecular biology chemistry experiments.
Swierkowski; Steve P. (Livermore, CA)
Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
08/ 772,639
December 23, 1996
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.