A piezoelectrically driven hydraulic amplification microvalve for use in compact high-performance hydraulic pumping systems was designed, fabricated, and experimentally characterized. High-frequency, high-force actuation capabilities were enabled through the incorporation of bulk piezoelectric material elements beneath a micromachined annular tethered-piston structure. Large valve stroke at the microscale was achieved with an hydraulic amplification mechanism that amplified (40/spl times/-50/spl times/) the limited stroke of the piezoelectric material into a significantly larger motion of a micromachined valve membrane with attached valve cap. These design features enabled the valve to meet simultaneously a set of high frequency (/spl ges/1 kHz), high pressure(/spl ges/300 kPa), and large stroke (20-30 /spl mu/m) requirements not previously satisfied by other hydraulic flow regulation microvalves. This paper details the design, modeling, fabrication, assembly, and experimental characterization of this valve device. Fabrication challenges are detailed
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