Principal Investigator: E. Podlaha
This Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award supports the acquisition of an Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) unit and a Micro Particle Image Velocimeter (mPIV) to assist the continuing microsystems research, development and educational efforts for several departments at Louisiana State University (LSU). The analysis and control of materials processing steps is essential to the development and fabrication of new devices and the development of novel materials. The EDXRF system will provide a currently unavailable method of chemical and thickness analysis to LSU, giving the capability of measuring composition profiles throughout high aspect ratio components. Many of the microsystems presently under development at LSU involve microfluidic devices and processes (e.g. micro-channels, pumps, heat exchangers, flow control devices, bioanalytical instruments, fuel injectors and fluidic actuators for combustor nozzles). Studies of micro-fluidic systems have been, thus far, possible only on the theoretical and simulation level, while experiments have been limited by the scarcity of measurement methods that can provide local information about such devices. The micro Particle Image Velocimeter (mPIV) system will provide the ability to measure local velocity fields and to visualize the flow in micrometer scale fluidic systems. This instrument will enable researchers to study the physics of micro-fluidic flows critical to the design and optimization of micro-fluidic devices that are fabricated at LSU. The systems acquired through this NSF grant together with the synchrotron resource at the J. Bennett Johnston Sr. Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices at LSU will provide researchers at LSU with the opportunity to play a leading role in the development and evaluation of microsystems for practical applications.