Engineers Craft Microscopic Heater-thermometer

University of Nebraska

March, 2018
Engineers Craft Microscopic Heater-thermometer
Ming Han, left, and Guigen Liu co-designed an excellent new temperature sensor that has applications for oceanic imaging. March 27, 2015. Photo by Craig Chandler / University Communications

At the University of Nebraska Ming Han, associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and his team crafted a microscopic heat-thermometer, transforming the way heating capabilities can assist biological research and medical or industrial applications.

The device Dr. Han and his team created has the ability to approach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, going from room temperature to 300 degrees in fractions of a second; a microscopic tool that is revolutionary and can be used to measure extreme heat. The device’s heating capability can also assist in monitoring greenhouse gases and preparing specimens for biological research.

Dr. Han says, “In other devices, the heating element and the temperature-sensing element are generally two different elements. Here, we’ve integrated both into the same tiny structure.” Emphasizing that they “have an elegant sensor structure with a very efficient heating mechanism,” he and co-designer Guigen Liu’s method could prove useful in detecting gases based on how they interact with the wavelengths generated.

The researchers received support from the National Science Foundation, Nebraska Research Initiative, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. The team debuted and detailed its new device in the Optics Letter Journal. Han says, “We still have a lot of work to do to make it better… this is a very promising technology that has a lot of exciting applications.”

To learn more about this project, click here.

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