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Research in Microfluidics 

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Research in Microfluidic Transport at
Sandia National Laboratories

Overview

The Microfluidics department of Sandia National Laboratories is vigorously probing the chemical physics of microfluidic transport and is actively developing high-performance, transport-based microfluidic and nanofluidics systems.

Recent engineering efforts to develop hand-portable liquid-phase analysis systems, such as MicroChemLab, have motivated fundamental research into microfluidic physics and chemistry at Sandia National Laboratories. Researchers at Sandia have made breakthroughs in electrokinetic pumping and in fundamental understanding and application of electroosmosis and dielectrophoresis. These breakthroughs have resulted in components and detectors with many applications including national security.

To support both basic and applied research, Sandia scientists and engineers have developed innovative diagnostic instrumentation to characterize microflows and quantify microsystem performance, and have validated numerical tools to simulate electrokinesis and dielectrophoresis.

To enable development of novel microfluidic devices, Sandia's fabrication capabilities are extensive.These include the ability to design and fabricate complicated flow channels with embedded electrodes in glass, to pattern monolithic porous polymers and post arrays within channels, and to employ deep reactive-ion etching, embossing, casting, and micro-injection molding to produce microsystems with desired properties. Surface properties can be tailored using a variety of methods. Sandia is exploring the use of silicon-based CMOS-compatible microfluidic systems for high-voltage electrophoresis and other applications.