The advantages of microanalyzers, usually fabricated in silicon, glass, or polymers, are well-known. The design and construction of fluidic platforms are well-developed areas due to the perfectly established microfabrication technologies used. However, there is still the need to achieve devices that include not only the fluid management system but also the measurement electronics, so that real portable miniaturized analyzers can be obtained. Low-temperature co-fired ceramics technology permits the incorporation of actuators, such as micropumps and microvalves, controlled either magnetically, piezoelectrically, or thermally. Furthermore, electronic circuits can be also easily built exploiting the properties of these ceramics and the fact that they can be fabricated using a multilayer approach. In this work, taking advantage of the possibility of combining fluidics and electronics in a single substrate and using the same fabrication methodology, a chemical microanalyzer that integrates microfluidics, the detection system, and also the data acquisition and digital signal processing electronics is presented. To demonstrate the versatility of the technology, two alternative setups have been developed. In the first one, a modular configuration is proposed. In this case, the same electronic module can be used to determine different chemical parameters by simply exchanging the chemical module. In the second one, the monolithic integration of all the elements was accomplished, allowing the construction of compact and dedicated devices. Chloride ion microanalyzers have been constructed to demonstrate the operability of both device configurations. In all cases, the results obtained showed adequate analytical features. © 2007 American Chemical Society.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2007|