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METHOD TO PROPEL AND CONTROL FLOW OF GASES IN SMALL SYSTEMS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000196656D
Publication Date: 2010-Jun-10
Document File: 5 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A method to accelerate and control flow of gases in small systems e.g., MEMS (micro electromechanical systems) devices, lab on a chip system, small gas samplers, electronic cooling, security systems and the like is disclosed. The method described herein uses non-equilibrium plasmas (non-thermal plasmas) to accelerate and control the flow of gases in small systems. The non-equilibrium plasmas are formed for short time by using a created electric field gradient in the gas.

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RP13426

METHOD TO PROPEL AND CONTROL FLOW OF GASES IN SMALL SYSTEMS

BRIEF ABSTRACT

    A method to accelerate and control flow of gases in small systems e.g., MEMS (micro electromechanical systems) devices, lab on a chip system, small gas samplers, electronic cooling, security systems and the like is disclosed. The method described herein uses non-equilibrium plasmas (non-thermal plasmas) to accelerate and control the flow of gases in small systems. The non-equilibrium plasmas are formed for short time by using a created electric field gradient in the gas.

KEYWORDS

    Flow of gas, non-thermal plasma, flow creation, non-equilibrium plasma, electric field gradient, high voltage pulsed electric power, control device, conductor(s) dielectric material(s) and actuator.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

    In general, various small systems such as, MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) devices, lab on a chip system, small gas samplers, electronic cooling, security systems and/or the like require motivating and creating a motion of gas within a small device. Numerous conventional practices disclose various devices that motivate and control the gas flows at small scale that includes miniature motors, fans, pumps, piezo-electric actuators, MEMS diaphragms and cantilevered paddles.

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RP13426

    However, the conventional practices are undesirable because such devices usually add an extra weight to the system and are also difficult to fabricate in the system. Further, such components are usually moving parts. Therefore, there exists a need in the art for developing a method that effectively propels and controls the gas flow in small systems.

    The present invention provides a method of propelling and controlling gas flows with electrical energy in small systems. The method described herein uses interactions between charged particles in non-equilibrium plasma and an electrical potential to propel and control the gases of interest within a small host device.

    The method provides a source of high voltage pulsed electric power, a control device, an assembly of conductors and dielectric materials that serves as an actuator, and a passage in which the flow of a gas is to be accelerated or controlled. Alternately, high-frequency AC voltage is provided, since there is a dielectric material between the two electrodes. However, pulsed power is required if there is no dielectric material. At the command of the control system, the power supply applies rapid pulses of high voltage to an array of conductors and dielectrics that comprise the actuator. The geometry of the actuator materials are chosen in such a way to create a locally strong electric field gradient in the gas to be moved.

    The rapidly applied high voltage ionizes some of the gas to be accelerated and creates non-equilibrium plasma for a very short time. The ions in the plasma are accelerated by the momentarily large electric field gradient. The non- equilibrium plasma is no...