The velocity slip of a fluid at a wall is one of the most typical phenomena in microscale gas flows. This paper presents a flow analysis considering the velocity slip in a capacitive micro gas flow sensor based on pressure difference measurements along a microchannel. The tangential momentum accommodation coefficient (TMAC) measurements of a particular channel wall in planar microchannels will be presented while the previous micro gas flow studies have been based on the same TMACs on both walls. The sensors consist of a pair of capacitive pressure sensors, inlet/outlet and a microchannel. The main microchannel is 128.0 mu m wide, 4.64 mu m deep and 5680 mu m long, and operated under nearly atmospheric conditions where the outlet Knudsen number is 0.0137. The sensor was fabricated using silicon wet etching, ultrasonic drilling, deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) and anodic bonding. The capacitance change of the sensor and the mass flow rate of nitrogen were measured as the inlet-to-outlet pressure ratio was varied from 1.00 to 1.24. The measured maximum mass flow rate was 3.86 x 10(-10) kg s(-1) (0.019 sccm) at the highest pressure ratio tested. As the pressure difference increased, both the capacitance of the differential pressure sensor and the flow rate through the main microchannel increased. The laminar friction constant f.Re, an important consideration in sensor design, varied from the incompressible no-slip case and the mass sensitivity and resolution of this sensor were discussed. Using the current slip flow formulae, a microchannel with much smaller mass flow rates can be designed at the same pressure ratios.

Date of this Version

February 2007