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Proceedings Paper

A thermal stack structure for measurement of fluid flow
Author(s): Hao Zhao; S. J. Neil Mitchell; D. H. Campbell; Harold S. Gamble
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Paper Abstract

A stacked thermal structure for fluid flow sensing has been designed, fabricated, and tested. A double-layer polysilicon process was employed in the fabrication. Flow measurement is based on the transfer of heat from a temperature sensor element to the moving fluid. The undoped or lightly doped polysilicon temperature sensor is located on top of a heavily doped polysilicon heater element. A dielectric layer between the heater and the sensor elements provides both thermal coupling and electrical isolation. In comparison to a hot-wire flow sensor, the heating and sensing functions are separated, allowing the electrical characteristics of each to be optimized. Undoped polysilicon has a large temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) up to 7 %/K and is thus a preferred material for the sensor. However, heavily doped polysilicon is preferred for the heater due to its lower resistance. The stacked flow sensor structure offers a high thermal sensitivity making it especially suitable for medical applications where the working temperatures are restricted. Flow rates of various fluids can be measured over a wide range. The fabricated flow sensors were used to measure the flow rate of water in the range μl - ml/min and gas (Helium) in the range 10 - 100ml/min.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 August 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4876, Opto-Ireland 2002: Optics and Photonics Technologies and Applications, (27 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.463631
Show Author Affiliations
Hao Zhao, Queen's Univ. of Belfast (United Kingdom)
S. J. Neil Mitchell, Queen's Univ. of Belfast (United Kingdom)
D. H. Campbell, Queen's Univ. of Belfast (United Kingdom)
Harold S. Gamble, Queen's Univ. of Belfast (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4876:
Opto-Ireland 2002: Optics and Photonics Technologies and Applications
Vincent Toal; Norman Douglas McMillan; Gerard M. O'Connor; Eon O'Mongain; Austin F. Duke; John F. Donegan; James A. McLaughlin; Brian D. MacCraith; Werner J. Blau, Editor(s)

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