A wearable, nozzle‑diffuser microfluidic pump based on high‑performance ferroelectric nanocomposites

Published on Nov 15, 2021in Sensors and Actuators B-chemical7.1
· DOI :10.1016/J.SNB.2021.130611
Fengwan Zhao1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Xi'an Jiaotong University),
Xiao-Ming Chen124
Estimated H-index: 124
(Xi'an Jiaotong University)
+ 7 AuthorsZuo-Guang Ye61
Estimated H-index: 61
(SFU: Simon Fraser University)
Abstract null null New target applications for microfluidic devices have been focused on home usability, wearability and cost-effectiveness. Towards these goals, in this work, a controllable, bendable, and all‑organic, nozzle‑diffuser microfluidic pump was designed, fabricated and tested. First, to resolve the crucial issue of high driving voltage, the ferroelectric polymer poly(vinylidene fluoride‑trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF‑TrFE)) was optimized by adding core‑shell structured Al2O3@CNT nanofillers. The membrane so developed with 1.1 wt% Al2O3@CNT showed an increase by nearly 7 times in the induced strain in comparison to the neat P(VDF‑TrFE) at low electric fields, because the modified membrane simultaneously achieved a lower coercive electric field and a higher polarization. Accordingly, the required operating voltage of the microfluidic pump integrated with optimized membrane significantly decreased from 1000 V to 160 V. Meanwhile, this pump exhibited a wider range of flow rates (13–135 µL/min) than the reported results, associated with the higher output pressure in our membranes. Importantly, the designed pump still possessed an excellent controllability of the fluidic processes, though it underwent a large bending up to 74°. Consequently, the extremely promising application of the as‑prepared microfluidic pump in wearable, biomedical devices was demonstrated.
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