Fluid flows in microchannels with cavities

Zeta Tak For Yu, Yi Kuen Lee, Man Wong, Yitshak Zohar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Pressure-driven gas and liquid flows through microchannels with cavities have been studied using both experimental measurements and numerical computations. Several microchannels with cavities varying in shape, number and dimensions have been fabricated. One set of microdevices, integrated with sensors on a silicon wafer, is used for flow rate and pressure distribution measurements in gas flows. Another set of microdevices, fabricated using glass-to-silicon wafer bonding, is utilized for visualization of liquid flow patterns. The cavity effect on the flow in the microchannel is found to be very small, with the mass flow rate increasing slightly with increasing number of cavities. The flow pattern in the cavity depends on two control parameters; it is fully attached only if both the reduced Reynolds number and the cavity number are small. A flow regime map has been constructed, where the critical values for the transition from attached to separated flow are determined. The numerical computations reveal another control parameter, the cavity aspect ratio. The now in the cavity is similar only if all three control parameters are the same. Finally, the vorticity distribution and related circulation in the cavity are analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1386-1398
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Micro vortex
  • Microcavity flow
  • Microscale flow separation
  • Reduced Reynolds number

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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