Metering with Piezo Valves

The drives used for nanoliter or picoliter metering devices must operate at high operating frequencies of up to several kHz and at the same time produce the kinetic energy required to generate tiny droplets without subsequent dripping, nebulization or satellite formation.

Piezo valves are highly suitable for this: They can switch valves directly, and can also work against a closing spring or a flexible tube for volume displacement.

Highly Advanced Micrometering Technology

Metering tasks cannot only be carried out with conventional diaphragm pumps; piezoelectric microvalves are the preferred solution whenever more viscous liquids requiring higher forces have to be metered.

Depending on the droplet size and thus the diaphragm displacement required, they can be driven directly by piezo actuators or by means of levered systems.

 

Piezoelectric Micro- and Nanodispensers

Piezoelectric microdispensers are used for distribution and metering tasks whenever small volumes in the milliliter or microliter range have to be controlled. Processes that produce fine droplets with volumes in the microliter or nanoliter range today often work contactless, i.e., the droplets are ejected from a nozzle and then impact on the substrate, preferably without losing their shape.

A large market for this is inkjet technology, which is common in professional, large-format printers. The high-quality inks are propelled onto the paper from nozzles as droplets of precisely defined volumes of between 1 and 100 picoliters in order to produce the individual dots.

Industrial production also relies on precisely metered droplets, for example, when packaging and mounting semiconductor chips or in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCB).

 

Piezo Valves in Biotechnology, Medical Technology and Diagnostics

On a different and especially more complex level are the requirements of nanoliter metering in biotechnology, medical technology and diagnostics. Many different liquids with very different characteristics usually have to be dosed with precision in the manufacture of microarrays and lab-on-a-chip systems as well as in researching active agents.

On the one hand, any cross-contamination must be prevented. On the other hand, the technology used must be able to generate perfect droplets, taking into account the viscosity and surface tension of the media and the dosing speed.

Misting, satellite formation on impact or dripping must be prevented to achieve reliable and repeatable results in drug screening, for example.

Flexible designs: Benders, stack actuators, lever amplification for travel ranges up to 1 mm
High force generation, high acceleration, high operating frequencies
No friction, no maintenance, no wear
Energy saving, stable position when at rest
Large-scale production means low costs

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Success Story: Drive Elements Made of Piezoelectric Materials

The Driving Force Behind Highly Accurate Dosing Applications
SUCCESS STORY pi1059E
SUCCESS STORY pi1059E
pdf - 465 KB
pdf - 536 KB
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Brochure: PI Piezo Drive Solutions

For Medical Engineering
BRO23
BRO23
pdf - 1 MB
pdf - 917 KB
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Catalog: PI Piezoelectric Ceramic Products

Fundamentals, Characteristics and Applications
CAT125
CAT125
pdf - 10 MB
pdf - 10 MB