Fabrication and performance evaluation of a high temperature co-fired ceramic vaporizing liquid microthruster

Kean How Cheah, Kay-Soon Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the study of a microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-scaled microthruster using ceramic as the structural material. A vaporizing liquid microthruster (VLM) has been fabricated using the high temperature co-fired ceramic (HTCC) technology. The developed microthruster consists of five components, i.e. inlet, injector, vaporizing chamber, micronozzle and microheater, all integrated in a chip with a dimension of 30 mm× 26 mm× 8 mm. In the dry test, the newly developed microheater which is deposited on zirconia substrate consumes 21% less electrical power than those deposited on silicon substrate to achieve a temperature of 100 °C. Heating temperature as high as 409.1 °C can be achieved using just 5 W of electrical power. For simplicity and safety, a functional test of the VLM with water as propellant has been conducted in the laboratory. Full vaporization of water propellant feeding at different flow rates has been successfully demonstrated. A maximum thrust of 633.5 μN at 1 μl s-1 propellant consumption rate was measured using a torsional thrust stand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015013
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • ceramic
  • HTCC
  • MEMS
  • microthruster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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