College of Engineering

ECE Master of Science Thesis Defense by Nathan A. Rhoades

Date(s): 3/8/2013 10:00 AM - 3/8/201312:00 PM
Location: Lester W. Cory Conference Room, SENG - Room 213A
Contact: David P. Rancour 508-999-8466


Three different microfluidic sensors are fabricated from bulk Barium Strontium Titanate (BST) and are shown to be responsive to both fluid inlet temperature and flow rate. BST has a strong resistive Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) and has a high sensitivity in the vicinity of its Curie temperature, TC. The sensors’ target application is in a high throughput and very accurate Point-of-Care (POC) / In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) platform.

Simulation and empirical data give evidence that reducing the size of the sensors down to the thin-film scale may yield sensitivity higher than any other sensor found in current literature. A specialized test bench with the capability of full automation is constructed to provide the means of capturing enough data to make conclusive claims. Improvements in the sensor acquisition circuitry are discussed, as well as the inclusion of a Digital Lock-In Amplifier (DLA). Because a DLA is capable of measuring phase, the complex impedance of the sensor can be acquired. The reactance may be more responsive to flow rate, temperature, or even other physical properties not yet investigated.

NOTE: All ECE Graduate Students are ENCOURAGED to attend.
All interested parties are invited to attend.
Open to the public.

Advisor: Dr. David P. Rancour
Committee Members: Dr. Steven Nardone and Dr. Jonathan Rothstein

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