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Design and Fabrication of Differential Scanning Nanocalorimeter for Biological Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Lei Zuo, Xiaoming Chen

State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY

Ming Lu

Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY

Paper No. DETC2011-48704, pp. 811-819; 9 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 2011 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5480-8
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


This paper describes the design, fabrication, and characterization of a differential scanning nanocalorimeter that has potential to significantly reduce the sample volume to microliter and improve the temperature sensitivity to 10 μK. The nanocalorimeter consists of a polymeric freestanding membrane, four high-sensitive low-noise thermistors based on the silicon carbide (SiC), and a platinum heater and temperature sensor. With the integrated heater and sensors, temperature scanning and power compensation can be achieved for calorimetric measurement. Temperature sensing SiC film was prepared by using sintered SiC target and DC magnetron sputtering under different gas pressure and sputtering power. The SiC sensing material is characterized through the measurement of current-voltage curves and noise levels. Thermal performance of a fabricated nanocalorimeter is studied in simulation and experiment. The results indicate the device has a nano watt thermal power sensitivity, 10 μK temperature sensitivity, and long time constant to hold thermal energy, which leads to low-volume ultra sensitive nanocalorimetry for biological process, such as protein folding and ligand binding.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Manufacturing , Design



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