Department of Mechanical Engineering
The PDMS Microfluidic Liquid Cell incorporates an AFM probe and cantilevers into a micro flow channel and improves on previous AFM liquid cell designs. PDMS is the transparent polymer that is being used to replicate the micro-machined features of the mold which yields a channel volume of less than 100 nL. Driven by viscous forces, the laminar flow through the capillaries and the channel will allow some unique measurements at the micro-scale. Atomic Force Microscopy is the same in liquid as for in open space, such that the laser beam bounces off of the reflective surface of the micro-cantilever, and the received signal represents the changes in the height and deflection of the beam. Applications include the investigation of crystal growth in fluid flow, examinations of blood flow, and the characterization of the flow-structure interaction of different flow speeds over the micro-cantilever.