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Rev Sci Instrum. 2012 Nov;83(11):116106. doi: 10.1063/1.4768245.

Note: precision viscosity measurement using suspended microchannel resonators.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sogang University, Seoul 121-742, South Korea.


We report the characterization of a suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) for viscosity measurements in a low viscosity regime (<10 mPa s) using two measurement schemes. First, the quality factor (Q-factor) of the SMR was characterized with glycerol-water mixtures. The measured Q-factor at 20 °C exhibits a bilinear behavior with the sensitivity of 1281 (mPa s)(-1) for a lower (1-4 mPa s) and 355 (mPa s)(-1) for a higher viscosity range (4-8 mPa s), respectively. The second scheme is the vibration amplitude monitoring of the SMR running in a closed loop feedback. When compared in terms of the measurement time, the amplitude-based measurement takes only 0.1 ~ 1 ms while the Q-factor-based measurement takes ~30 s. However, the viscosity resolution of the Q-factor-based measurement is at least three times better than the amplitude-based measurement. By comparing the Q-factors of heavy water and 9.65 wt.% glycerol-water mixture that have very similar viscosities but different densities, we confirmed that the SMR can measure the dynamic viscosity without the density correction. The obtained results demonstrate that the SMR can measure the fluid viscosity with high precision and even real-time monitoring of the viscosity change is possible with the amplitude-based measurement scheme.


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