Fabrication and high-speed characterization of SU-8 shrouded two-dimensional microimpellers

Atsushi Nakajima, Piljoong Kang, Nao Honda, Kousuke Hikichi, Masayoshi Esashi, Shuji Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the performance of shrouded two-dimensional microimpellers was measured for application to a micro centrifugal pump used in a portable fuel cell system. Two types of microimpellers were designed, and fabricated by a multi-layer photolithography process using an ultrathick photoresist (SU-8 3000). Microimpellers with a diameter of 10 mm were tested using an air spindle up to maximum rotation speeds determined by the destruction of the microimpellers, which are 350 000 rpm for a purely-radial-outlet blade impeller and 450 000 rpm for a backward blade impeller. The purely-radial-outlet blade impeller showed a higher pressure rise - 2.8 kPa at 150 000 rpm, 5.1 kPa at 200 000 rpm and 12.5 kPa at 300 000 rpm. The measured performance satisfies the requirement of the micro centrifugal pump. However, the measured pressure rises are roughly half of the simulated values. The influence of the radial clearance and height difference between the impeller and the diffuser was investigated using an electromagnetic motor and impellers with a diameter of 16 mm. Against expectation, a better pumping performance was obtained with a larger tip clearance, and the height difference did not affect the pumping performance. These unexpected results suggest that the tip clearance and the clearance between the impeller shroud and the stationary housing act as a diffuser.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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