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High dielectric strength microvalves

United States Patent Application

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A microvalve having a cast-in-place and lithographically shaped mobile, polymer monolith for fluid flow control in microfluidic devices and method of manufacture. The microvalve contains a porous fluorinated polymer monolithic element whose pores are filled with an electrically insulating, high dielectric strength fluid, typically a perfluorinated liquid. This combination provides a microvalve that combines high dielectric strength with extremely low electrical conductivity. These microvalves have been shown to have resistivities of at least 100 G.OMEGA. and are compatible with solvents such as water at a pH between 2.7 and 9.0, 1-1 propanol, acetonitrile, and acetone.
Kirby, Brian J. (San Francisco, CA), Reichmuth, David S. (Oakland, CA), Shepodd, Timothy J. (Livermore, CA)
10/ 610,093
June 30, 2003
[0002] This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention, including a paid-up license and the right, in limited circumstances, to require the owner of any patent issuing in this invention to license others on reasonable terms.