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Development of a Novel LTCC-Chip for Fast DSC-Analysis
Keywords: LTCC, DSC, Differential scanning calorimetry
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a wide-spread and well-known method for the detection of phase transitions (for example glass transition, crystallization or melting) and the determinations of melting enthalpies of different materials like polymers, glasses or some metal alloys. Typical DSC- gadgetry is quite expensive due to their complexity and each measurement causes additional costs. DSC-devices are designed as stationary laboratory equipment and their mobile application for a fast and in-situ analysis is impossible. Therefore, our idea is a novel design of a DSC-Chip in which, temperature sensors as well as sample crucible and a reference are completely integrated into one single ceramic structure. Due to the unusual vertical placement of temperature sensors, the chip is small and compact. Moreover, overall costs of DSC-Analysis can be drastically reduced. For that purpose, the most suitable technology seems to be Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramics (LTCC). LTCC allows reducing power consumption and structure dimensions. Easy patterning of unfired tapes allows designing ceramic substrates with three-dimensional elements. Due to the multilayer setup, integration of heater and temperature sensors inside the monolithic ceramic is possible. This paper presents a novel LTCC-structure designed for fast DSC-Analysis. Development of the chip was supported by Finite Elements Analysis. Thus a validation of chip usability for detection of melting points was possible. The chip itself was made in LTCC technology using non-shrinkage tapes and typical thick-film pastes. First DSC-tests with indium as reference material showed very good ability to detect melting peaks at specified temperature with promising accuracy. Another tests with variable sample amount confirmed usability of developed structure for fast DSC-analysis. After a calibration, melting enthalpies can be determined.
Beate Pawlowski,
Fraunhofer IKTS Hermsdorf
Hermsdorf, Thuringia 07629,
Germany


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