Micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) devices integrate various mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a single silicon substrate in order to accomplish a multitude of different tasks in a diverse range of fields. The potential for device miniaturization made possible by MEMS micro-fabrication techniques has facilitated the development of many new applications, such as highly compact, non-invasive pressure sensors, accelerometers, gas sensors, etc. Besides their small physical footprint, such devices possess many other advantages compared to their macro-scale counterparts, including greater precision, lower power consumption, more rapid response, and the potential for low-cost batch production. One area in which MEMS technology has attracted particular attention is that of flow measurement. Broadly speaking, existing micro-flow sensors can be categorized as either thermal or non-thermal, depending upon their mode of operation. This paper commences by providing a high level overview of the MEMS field and then describes some of the fundamental thermal and non-thermal micro-flow sensors presented in the literature over the past 30 years or so.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Materials Chemistry