MESA+ University of Twente
Micro Sensors & Systems

Flow sensors

Our research on micro flow sensors started more than 20 years ago. With the advances in fabrication technology, our flow sensors have developed from simple heated micro bridges suspended in relatively large channels realized by wet etching and wafer bonding into highly sensitive devices consisting of silicon nitride channels integrated in a silicon wafer. A major breakthrough has been the development of the surface channel technology that allows the fabrication of silicon nitride channels with diameters up to 100 µm and a wall thickness of 1 µm that can be freely suspended to allow for thermal isolation or mechanical actuation. This technology has enabled the realization of a micro Coriolis mass flow sensor which has drawn a lot of attention and is the most sensitive Coriolis mass flow sensor worldwide.

More recently our research on flow sensors has been extended towards complete microfluidic handling systems. In the MIVADO project, first results were obtained on a micro valve that opens the way to integration of a valve with a Coriolis mass flow sensor on a single chip. In the TIPICAL project, we want to realise a multiparameter flow measurement system as diagnostic tool for medical infusion pump systems. Multiparameter flow measurement systems and Wobbe index meters are also under development for application for energy content measurement of natural- and biogas.