New emerging technologies such as MEMS “Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems” provides many promising opportunities for developing innovative methods. This research focuses on the design, development and analysis of functional micro-pumps. Micro-pumps open new frontiers of engineering applications where precise fluid amounts to a targeted location are required. Micro-pumps can be used in environmental monitoring, where localized water quality measurements are needed, chemical/biological detection and analysis, and industrial process control. Conventional MEMS micro-pumps are driven by micro-actuators, which add complication to micro-pump membrane/structure design, control, and fabrication. The proposed MEMS micro-pump will have its membrane (or diaphragm) be sensitive to external pressure change and self-actuated in response to a designated pressure level; thus named IMSP (intelligent micro-sensor/pump). This paper provides a detailed study of membrane deflection which is one of the most important component of micro-pump. The membrane of the conventional design has uniform thickness. The novel smart micro-pump has a membrane pillar in the center. This membrane pillar has advantages of greater stability, larger pumping force and longer life cycle. The deflection of the membrane is analyzed and compared in two cases: 1) Membrane deflection without membrane pillar, and 2) Membrane deflection with membrane pillar. The micro-viscosity effect on a micro-pump will be augmented as the size of the micro-pump becomes smaller, especially in the micron range. Therefore two more cases are analyzed under the consideration of micro-viscosity effect: 1) Membrane deflection with micro-viscosity effect and without membrane pillar, and 2) Membrane deflection with micro-viscosity effect and with membrane pillar. The critical design parameters of the membrane—thickness and diameter—are varied and substituted into the governing equations to calculate the membrane deflection. The curves of membrane deflection versus the applied pressure on the membrane are plotted for further characterization of the micro-pump. This study will lead to the full development of a smart micro-pump and set off a new research direction.

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