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Thermal Management Requirements of Photonic Nanohole Array Sensors
Keywords: Nanohole array, Photonic biosensor, Heat transfer
The transmission changes of monochromatic light through a sub wavelength nanohole array in a gold metallic film on a glass substrate has been used as a fast, sensitive, temperature sensor and binding biosensor. This transmission process is defined as Extraordinary Optical Transmission (EOT) and is limited to a 100 nm region above the metallic film layer. Current research focuses on extending this device to a nano-size calorimeter, to determine the thermodynamic properties and chemical kinetics of the reactions using small quantities of reactants. The small EOT sensor volume provides a unique set of thermal management problems and their solutions are described. Thermal characteristics of the EOT sensor chip need to be well understood to minimize thermal effects and noise while monitoring the reaction. An isothermal chip surface provides proper delivery of reactants, reducing the complexity of the data reduction process. The transient response of the EOT signal and the spatial temperature distribution of the system have been determined using FLUENT software. Numerical simulations confirmed the faster response time of the EOT temperature sensor compared to the commercial thermistors. The numerical analysis was performed in the presence of a constant temperature heating source to determine spatial temperature variation on the chip, which can be as much as ~3.5 K along the chip. Further analysis was used to design a copper heat sink between the heater and the sensing chip to eliminate the temperature gradient. Experimental results showed that temperature difference is within the second decimal point across the chip region of the copper plate, confirming a uniform temperature distribution along the chip. Finally, a numerical model simulating an injection of a reactant to the system is presented to illustrate the effect of the spatial temperature gradient across the chip on the thermodynamic calculations.
Mehmet Sen, Graduate Research Assistant
Northeastern University; Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Boston, MA

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