A Novel Microcombustor for Sensor and Thermal Energy Management Applications in Microsystems

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The microcombustor described in this report was developed primarily for thermal management in microsystems and as a platform for micro-scale flame ionization detectors (microFID). The microcombustor consists of a thin-film heater/thermal sensor patterned on a thin insulating membrane that is suspended from its edges over a silicon frame. This micromachined design has very low heat capacity and thermal conductivity and is an ideal platform for heating catalytic materials placed on its surface. Catalysts play an important role in this design since they provide a convenient surface-based method for flame ignition and stabilization. The free-standing platform used in the microcombustor mitigates ... continued below

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40 pages

Creation Information

MANGINELL, RONALD P.; MOORMAN, MATTHEW; COLBURN, CHRIS; ANDERSON, LAWRENCE F.; GARDNER, TIMOTHY J.; MOWERY-EVANS, DEBORAH L. et al. January 1, 2003.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

The microcombustor described in this report was developed primarily for thermal management in microsystems and as a platform for micro-scale flame ionization detectors (microFID). The microcombustor consists of a thin-film heater/thermal sensor patterned on a thin insulating membrane that is suspended from its edges over a silicon frame. This micromachined design has very low heat capacity and thermal conductivity and is an ideal platform for heating catalytic materials placed on its surface. Catalysts play an important role in this design since they provide a convenient surface-based method for flame ignition and stabilization. The free-standing platform used in the microcombustor mitigates large heat losses arising from large surface-to-volume ratios typical of the microdomain, and, together with the insulating platform, permit combustion on the microscale. Surface oxidation, flame ignition and flame stabilization have been demonstrated with this design for hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels premixed with air. Unoptimized heat densities of 38 mW/mm{sup 2} have been achieved for the purpose of heating microsystems. Importantly, the microcombustor design expands the limits of flammability (Low as compared with conventional diffusion flames); an unoptimized LoF of 1-32% for natural gas in air was demonstrated with the microcombustor, whereas conventionally 4-16% observed. The LoF for hydrogen, methane, propane and ethane are likewise expanded. This feature will permit the use of this technology in many portable applications were reduced temperatures, lean fuel/air mixes or low gas flows are required. By coupling miniature electrodes and an electrometer circuit with the microcombustor, the first ever demonstration of a microFID utilizing premixed fuel and a catalytically-stabilized flame has been performed; the detection of -1-3% of ethane in hydrogen/air is shown. This report describes work done to develop the microcombustor for microsystem heating and flame ionization detection and includes a description of modeling and simulation performed to understand the basic operation of this device. Ancillary research on the use of the microcombustor in calorimetric gas sensing is also described where appropriate.

Physical Description

40 pages

Source

  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Jan 2003

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  • Report No.: SAND2002-4178
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/808610 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 808610
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc740934

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • January 1, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • April 11, 2016, 7:59 p.m.

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MANGINELL, RONALD P.; MOORMAN, MATTHEW; COLBURN, CHRIS; ANDERSON, LAWRENCE F.; GARDNER, TIMOTHY J.; MOWERY-EVANS, DEBORAH L. et al. A Novel Microcombustor for Sensor and Thermal Energy Management Applications in Microsystems, report, January 1, 2003; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc740934/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.