Failure mechanisms of pressurized microchannels, model, and experiments

M.T. Blom, Niels Roelof Tas, G. Pandraud, Johannes G.E. Gardeniers, Emil Chmela, Johan W. Berenschot, Michael Curt Elwenspoek, Robert Tijssen, Albert van den Berg

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MicrochanneIs were created by fusion bonding of a Pyrex cover to a thermally oxidized silicon wafer, which contained anisotropically etched grooves. Such channels are frequently used in microfluidic handling systems, for example, in chemical analysis. Since in some of these labs-on-a-chip, in particular those used in liquid chromatography, the channels are subjected to high pressures of up to a few hundred bar, it is important to have information about the mechanical stability of the channel chip, in particular of the wafer bond involved in it. The latter is the subject of this paper. The maximum pressure that can be applied to several different channel chips was investigated experimentally. In order to find the relation among this maximum pressure, channel geometry, materials elasticity, and bond energy, an energy model was developed that is generally applicable to all types of wafer bonds. It was shown that the model is substantiated by the experimental pressure data, from which it could be calculated that the effective bond energy increased from 0.018 to 0.19 J/m2 for an annealing temperature ranging from 310 to 470°C
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)158-164
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of microelectromechanical systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001


  • IR-42442
  • EWI-12894
  • METIS-201531

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