W. Y. Sim, et al., "A phase-change type micropump with aluminum flap valves," J. Micromech. Microeng., 13 (2003) 286-294 (published Jan. 29, 2003).
Primary Examiner—John Rivell
Assistant Examiner—Craig M Schneider
(7'4) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Jones Day; Nicola A. Pisano;
Jaime D. Choi
A valve apparatus includes a substrate, a main flow channel formed in the substrate, a control channel formed in the substrate such that the main flow channel and the control channel meet at a junction, a bi-phase material within the control channel, a heating element adjacent the control channel and the junction, the heating element being controllable to generate sufficient energy to cause the bi-phase material to transition from a solid phase to a liquid phase, and a pumping mechanism for forcing the bi-phase material either into or out of the junction when the bi-phase material is in the liquid phase.
6 Claims, 10 Drawing Sheets