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Sensors 2010, 10(7), 6594-6611; doi:10.3390/s100706594
Article

Design and Characterization of a High Resolution Microfluidic Heat Flux Sensor with Thermal Modulation

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Received: 22 April 2010; in revised form: 31 May 2010 / Accepted: 24 May 2010 / Published: 9 July 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-devices and Materials)
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Abstract: A complementary metal-oxide semiconductor-compatible process was used in the design and fabrication of a suspended membrane microfluidic heat flux sensor with a thermopile for the purpose of measuring the heat flow rate. The combination of a thirty-junction gold and nickel thermoelectric sensor with an ultralow noise preamplifier, a low pass filter, and a lock-in amplifier can yield a resolution 20 nW with a sensitivity of 461 V/W. The thermal modulation method is used to eliminate low-frequency noise from the sensor output, and various amounts of fluidic heat were applied to the sensor to investigate its suitability for microfluidic applications. For sensor design and analysis of signal output, a method of modeling and simulating electro-thermal behavior in a microfluidic heat flux sensor with an integrated electronic circuit is presented and validated. The electro-thermal domain model was constructed by using system dynamics, particularly the bond graph. The electro-thermal domain system model in which the thermal and the electrical domains are coupled expresses the heat generation of samples and converts thermal input to electrical output. The proposed electro-thermal domain system model is in good agreement with the measured output voltage response in both the transient and the steady state.
Keywords: heat flux sensor; thermopile; electro-thermal domain model; microfluidic application heat flux sensor; thermopile; electro-thermal domain model; microfluidic application
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nam, S.-K.; Kim, J.-K.; Cho, S.-C.; Lee, S.-K. Design and Characterization of a High Resolution Microfluidic Heat Flux Sensor with Thermal Modulation. Sensors 2010, 10, 6594-6611.

AMA Style

Nam S-K, Kim J-K, Cho S-C, Lee S-K. Design and Characterization of a High Resolution Microfluidic Heat Flux Sensor with Thermal Modulation. Sensors. 2010; 10(7):6594-6611.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nam, Sung-Ki; Kim, Jung-Kyun; Cho, Sung-Cheon; Lee, Sun-Kyu. 2010. "Design and Characterization of a High Resolution Microfluidic Heat Flux Sensor with Thermal Modulation." Sensors 10, no. 7: 6594-6611.


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