Microfabricated high-throughput electronic particle detector

Wood, D. K.; Requa, M. V.; Cleland, A. N.
October 2007
Review of Scientific Instruments;Oct2007, Vol. 78 Issue 10, p104301
Academic Journal
We describe the design, fabrication, and use of a radio frequency reflectometer integrated with a microfluidic system, applied to the very high-throughput measurement of micron-scale particles, passing in a microfluidic channel through the sensor region. The device operates as a microfabricated Coulter counter [U.S. Patent No. 2656508 (1953)], similar to a design we have described previously, but here with significantly improved electrode geometry as well as including electronic tuning of the reflectometer; the two improvements yielding an improvement by more than a factor of 10 in the signal to noise and in the diametric discrimination of single particles. We demonstrate the high-throughput discrimination of polystyrene beads with diameters in the 4–10 μm range, achieving diametric resolutions comparable to the intrinsic spread of diameters in the bead distribution, at rates in excess of 15×106 beads/h.


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