A Microfluidic Device for Thermal Particle Detection
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Microfluidics and Nanofluidics
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We demonstrate the use of heat to count microscopic particles. A thermal particle detector (TPD) was fabricated by combining a 500-nm-thick silicon nitride membrane containing a thin-film resistive temperature detector with a silicone elastomer microchannel. Particles with diameters of 90 and 200 μm created relative temperature changes of 0.11 and −0.44 K, respectively, as they flowed by the sensor. A first-order lumped thermal model was developed to predict the temperature changes. Multiple particles were counted in series to demonstrate the utility of the TPD as a particle counter.