This paper presents an experimental investigation on compressible gas flow through microchannels with a constant area, rectangular cross-section. The microchannels are etched into silicon wafers, capped with smooth glass, and have hydraulic diameters between 4 and 100 μm. All measurements were made in the laminar flow regime with Reynolds numbers ranging from 0.02 to 1000. Smooth channels were obtained by etching (100) silicon wafers with potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution. Rough channel surfaces were obtained by etching (110) silicon wafers with KOH. The investigation shows that the friction factor for both smooth and rough microchannels compares closely with continuum theory.

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