Active control microchannel based systems are emerging as critical design trend in development of process control and manoeuvring in micro-devices. These microsystems that today can be developed inexpensively by using plastic material, are challenging conventional production technology. Interface functionalisation for each specific application can be obtained by employing hybrid interface materials, application of coatings, inclusion of nano-engineered substrates. Beneficial effects of functional inter face are empowered by electro-kinetic pumping. To date basic knowledge is still far from complete understanding of phenomena which intervene to characterize interfacial phenomena and stability of dissimilar materials interfaces. Interactions between microchannel wall components, as well as between fluid and substrates, play a dominant role in the behaviour of confined flows because of their influence on interface energy mobilised. The main goal of the proposed project is therefore to develop a novel integrated microfluidic bench technologies, namely a facility of enabling techniques, specifically designed to characterise interfacial phenomena and stability of interfaces of dissimilar materials, with the aim to guide the fluid flow within microchannels by means of the functionalised interface. A clear understanding of interfacial phenomena is achievable by developing basic research through a complete theoretical and numerical assessment with the support of an appropriate experimental campaign based on advanced flow visualisation techniques, specifically developed to analyse the fluid motion very near the functional interface, as well as special techniques to measure chemical and physical properties of the "functionalised" interface. The proposed methodology is considered at the frontier of technological research but it represents the only realistic way to put solid basis for the fabrication of effective microchannels for incorporation into microsystems.
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
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