DOI: 10.1115/1.4065046 ISSN: 0098-2202

Actuation Modeling of a Microfluidically Reconfigurable Radiofrequency Device

Behzad Parsi, Jason B Metten, Clinton Waite, Daniel Maynes, Nathan B Crane
  • Mechanical Engineering


Microfluidic-based techniques have been shown to address limitations of reconfigurable radio frequency (RF) antennas and filters in efficiency, power handling capability, cost, and frequency tuning. However, the current devices suffer from significant integration challenges associated with packaging, actuation, and control. Recent advances in reconfigurable microfluidics that utilize the motion of a selectively metalized plate (SMP) for RF tuning have demonstrated promising RF capabilities but have exposed a need for an accurate fluid actuation model. This research presents a model for the mechanical motion of a moving plate in a channel to relate the SMP size, microfluidic channel size, velocity, and inlet pressure. This model facilitates understanding of the actuation response of an RF tuning system based on a moving plate independent of the actuation method. This model is validated using a millimeter-scale plate driven by a gravitational pressure head as a quasi-static pressure source. Measurements of the prototyped device show excellent agreement with the analytical model; thus, the designer can utilize the presented model for designing and optimizing a microfluidic-based reconfigurable RF device and selecting actuation methods to meet desired outcomes. To examine model accuracy at device scale, recent papers in the microfluidics reconfigurable RF area have been studied, and excellent agreement between our proposed model and the literature data is observed.

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