New Internal Combustion Microengine Produces Exceptional Torque For Its Size

A new type of internal combustion microengine developed by a team of researchers from Russia, Netherlands and Germany is quite interesting - first because of its size and second, because the research team do not know how exactly it works. The team that built this engine (see pics below) describe the way they developed the engine and also discuss how they think it works. They also outline a plan about how it can be implemented in development of other microsystems. It's not the first time that microengines have been built; but the latest one uses combustion of Oxygen and Hydrogen instead of electrostatic forces.

The team began by constructing a very tiny pressure chamber with a flexible membrane on one of the sides. The chamber has tiny electrodes running through saltwater solution. When current is passed through the electrodes, hydrogen and oxygen dissociate to form minute bubbles inside the chamber, building some pressure inside (about 3.6 bar). Pressure causes the membrane to bend outwards by about 1.4 microns. As soon as the current is turned off, the membrane gets back to its normal position. However, the membrane regains its original shape faster than it should. The researchers aren't exactly sure why this happens but suspect that it happens because the bubbles turn back into water molecules (H2O).

Image Credit: Scientific Reports
The rapid movement of the membrane can be used as a force mechanism, required by an IC engine. What's most remarkable about this new engine is its size, which is just 100x100x5 microns. Researchers used thin silicon wafers covered with layers of silicon rich nitride and platinum electrodes in construction to keep the size as small as they could.

Engineers are fascinated by the amount of torque this engine is capable of producing and believe that it can be deployed to pump fluid inside human body or even move around inside human blood vessels. The team is currently working on finding out what makes the engine work the way it does. We wish them all the best!

Read more on: #-Link-Snipped-#


You are reading an archived discussion.

Related Posts

Along with Micromax, Karbonn, Lava and other manufacturers, iBall is too known for its low-cost Android smartphones. Adding to its legacy, iBall has launched another entry-level smartphone priced at just...
India's leading motorcycle maker Hero Motocorp has launched the much awaited Hero Splendor iSMART bike for Indian consumers. The new Splendor iSmart is equipped with the i3S technology which stands...
Intel’s plan to launch dual-boot devices has been ruined by Google and Microsoft. Dual-OS devices were one of the big stories at CES this year. Asus had announced the Transformer...
/* * main.c * * Created on: 13 Mar 2014 * Author: Aadit */ #include #include #include #include #include #define PRINT_HELP printf("Help commands \n: start...