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Sensors 2019, 19(2), 314;

A Handy Flexible Micro-Thermocouple Using Low-Melting-Point Metal Alloys

CAS Key Laboratory of Cryogenics, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
School of Future Technology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100149, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Materials)
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A handy, flexible micro-thermocouple using low-melting-point metal alloys is proposed in this paper. The thermocouple has the advantages of simple fabrication and convenient integration. Bismuth/gallium-based mixed alloys are used as thermocouple materials. To precisely inject the metal alloys to the location of the sensing area, a micro-polydimethylsiloxane post is designed within the sensing area to prevent outflow of the metal alloy to another thermocouple pole during the metal-alloy injection. Experimental results showed that the Seebeck coefficient of this thermocouple reached −10.54 μV/K, which was much higher than the previously reported 0.1 μV/K. The thermocouple was also be bent at 90° more than 200 times without any damage when the mass ratio of the bismuth-based alloy was <60% in the metal-alloy mixture. This technology mitigated the difficulty of depositing traditional thin–film thermocouples on soft substrates. Therefore, the thermocouple demonstrated its potential for use in microfluidic chips, which are usually flexible devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: micro-thermocouple; flexible sensor; low-melting-point alloys; liquid metal micro-thermocouple; flexible sensor; low-melting-point alloys; liquid metal

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Wang, Q.; Gao, M.; Zhang, L.; Deng, Z.; Gui, L. A Handy Flexible Micro-Thermocouple Using Low-Melting-Point Metal Alloys. Sensors 2019, 19, 314.

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