Microelectromechanical pump utilizing porous silicon

Patent Number: 7,980,828
Issued: 7/19/2011
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: A microelectromechanical (MEM) pump is disclosed which includes a porous silicon region sandwiched between an inlet chamber and an outlet chamber. The porous silicon region is formed in a silicon substrate and contains a number of pores extending between the inlet and outlet chambers, with each pore having a cross-section dimension about equal to or smaller than a mean free path of a gas being pumped. A thermal gradient is provided along the length of each pore by a heat source which can be an electrical resistance heater or an integrated circuit (IC). A channel can be formed through the silicon substrate so that inlet and outlet ports can be formed on the same side of the substrate, or so that multiple MEM pumps can be connected in series to form a multi-stage MEM pump. The MEM pump has applications for use in gas-phase MEM chemical analysis systems, and can also be used for passive cooling of ICs.
Filed: 4/25/2007
Application Number: 11/739,716
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.