Project 8: Gas Microfluidics using MEMS Micro-pumps (Prof. Shamus McNamara, ECE)

Healthcare and Energy Topic: Dr. McNamara has been studying gas pumping and microfluidics in his lab for a number of years (NSF Grants 0601453, 1133877).  In the past 5 years he has supervised 7 undergraduate projects (3 co-op).  The undergraduates have been very successful, having presented at international conferences and have journal publications [1-8].  The research will focus on the Knudsen gas pump, which is a thermally driven pump that features no moving parts [1-17].  A novel multifunctional nano-porous thermoelectric material is being developed that works as a combined heater, cooler, and array of gas channels for effecting the thermally driven pumping mechanism (Figure).  The pump is being integrated with microfluidic channels for lab-on-a-chip applications The undergraduate student will help synthesize and test new nano-materials, investigate new methods of making better electrical contact without plugging the pores, create microfluidic channels, and embed nano-porous materials into the microfluidic channels.  The undergraduate student will learn micro/nano fabrication techniques, layout and simulation tools, and learn how to test microfluidic devices. This project should appeal to students interested in Chemistry, Physics, ME, ChE and ECE.


[1] S. Miles, A. Bell, K. Pharas, and S. McNamara, "Solar Thermal Powered and Body Heat Powered Knudsen Gas Pump," in ASME 2011 9th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels, Edmonton, Canada, 2011.

[2] K. Pharas, S. Miles, and S. McNamara, "Thermal Transpirational Flow in the Transitional Flow Regime," J. Vac. Sci. Techn., vol. 30, p. 050603, 2012.

[3] S. Miles and S. McNamara, "Ten Stage Knudsen Gas Pump," in ASME 10th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels, Puerto Rico, 2012, p. 73209.

[4] A. Bell, K. Pharas, W. D. Ehringer, and S. McNamara, "Body Temperature Powered Device for Dermal Wound Drug Delivery," in IEEE MEMS Conference, Paris, France, 2012, pp. 930-932.

[5] A. Faiz, A. D. Bell, G. Sumanasekera, and S. McNamara, "Nanoporous Bi2Te3 Thermoelectric Based Knudsen Gas Pump," J. Micromech. Microeng., vol. 20, p. 035002, 2014.

[6] A. Bell, W. D. Ehringer, and S. McNamara, "Scavenged body heat powered infusion pump," Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, vol. 23, p. 114019, 2013.

[7] A. Bell, W. D. Ehringer, and S. McNamara, "Wearable Infusion Pump Powered By Scavenged Body Heat," in PowerMEMS, Atlanta, Georgia, 2012, pp. 157-160.

[8] A. D. Bell and S. McNamara, "Multistage Human Heat Powered Knudsen Pump for Use in a Wearable Infusion Pump," in 7th Intl. Conf. Microtechnologies in Medicine and Biology (MMB 2013), Marina Del Ray, CA, 2013.

[9] S. McNamara and Y. B. Gianchandani, "On-Chip Vacuum Generated by a Micromachined Knudsen Pump," IEEE J. MEMS, vol. 14, pp. 741-746, 2005.

[10] K. Pharas, D. Copic, C. Yamarthy, and S. McNamara, "Knudsen Pump with Wide Channel for High Gas Flow," in KY EPSCoR Conference, Lexington, KY, 2007.

[11] D. Copic, E. Brehob, and S. McNamara, "Theoretical Efficiency of a Microfabricated Knudsen Pump," in University/Government/Industry Micro-Nano Symposium (UGIM), Louisville, KY, 2008, pp. 107-110.

[12] D. Copic and S. McNamara, "Efficiency Derivation for the Knudsen Pump with and without Thermal Losses," Journal Vacuum Science and Technology A, vol. 27, pp. 496-502, 2009.

[13] C. Yamarthy, K. Pharas, A. Schultz, and S. McNamara, "Pneumatic Pumping of Liquids Using Thermal Transpiration for Lab-on-a-Chip Applications," in Proceedings International IEEE Sensors Conference, New Zealand, 2009, pp. 1931-1934.

[14] A. Faiz and S. McNamara, "Mathematical model of a nanoporous thermoelectric based Knudsen pump," J. Vac. Sci. Techn. A, vol. 32, p. 041601, 2014.

[15] S. Miles and S. McNamara, "Radial Knudsen Pump Simulation Using Comsol Multiphysics," presented at the KY NanoSymposium, Louisville, KY, 2013.

[16] A. Faiz and S. McNamara, "Nanoporous Thermoelectric Knudsen Pump Integrated with a Microfluidic Channel," in Proceedings PowerMEMS 2012 Conference, Atlanta, GA, 2012, pp. 259-262.

[17] A. Faiz and S. McNamara, "Nano-Porous Bi2Te3 Thermoelectric Based Knudsen Gas Pump," presented at the KY Nanosymposium, Louisville, KY, 2013