Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Micro Microwave Does Pinpoint Cooking For Miniaturized Labs

Date:
November 15, 2007
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated what is probably the world's smallest microwave oven, a tiny mechanism that can heat a pinhead-sized drop of liquid inside a container slightly shorter than an ant and half as wide as a single hair.

Photograph of the NIST micro microwave oven. The gold traces on the glass circle are microwave transmission lines. The 1.25 cm wide polymer block over the transmission line in the center houses a miniature chamber in which a pinhead-sized drop of fluid is heated.
Credit: NIST

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards of Technology (NIST) and George Mason University have demonstrated what is probably the world's smallest microwave oven, a tiny mechanism that can heat a pinhead-sized drop of liquid inside a container slightly shorter than an ant and half as wide as a single hair. The micro microwave is intended for lab-on-a-chip devices that perform rapid, complex chemical analyses on tiny samples.

In a paper in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering*, the research team led by NIST engineer Michael Gaitan describes for the first time how a tiny dielectric microwave heater can be successfully integrated with a microfluidic channel to control selectively and precisely the temperature of fluid volumes ranging from a few microliters (millionth of a liter) to sub-nanoliters (less than a billionth of a liter). Sample heating is an essential step in a wide range of analytic techniques that could be built into microfluidic devices, including the high-efficiency polymerase chain reaction (PCR) process that rapidly amplifies tiny samples of DNA for forensic work, and and methods to break cells open to release their contents for study.

The team embedded a thin-film microwave transmission line between a glass substrate and a polymer block to create its micro microwave oven. A trapezoidal-shaped cut in the polymer block only 7 micrometers across at its narrowest--the diameter of a red blood cell--and nearly 4 millimeters long (approximately the length of an ant) serves as the chamber for the fluid to be heated.

Based on classical theory of how microwave energy is absorbed by fluids, the research team developed a model to explain how their minature oven would work. They predicted that electromagnetic fields localized in the gap would directly heat the fluid in a selected portion of the micro channel while leaving the surrounding area unaffected. Measurements of the microwaves produced by the system and their effect on the fluid temperature in the micro channel validated the model by showing that the increase in temperature of the fluid was predominantly due to the absorbed microwave power.

Once the new technology is more refined, the researchers hope to use it to design a microfluidic microwave heater that can cycle temperatures rapidly and efficiently for a host of applications.

The work is supported by the Office of Science and Technology at the Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice.

* J.J. Shah, S.G. Sundaresan, J. Geist, D.R. Reyes, J.C. Booth, M.V. Rao and M. Gaitan. Microwave dielectric heating of fluids in an integrated microfluidic device. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 17: 2224-2230 (2007)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Micro Microwave Does Pinpoint Cooking For Miniaturized Labs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071108162010.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2007, November 15). Micro Microwave Does Pinpoint Cooking For Miniaturized Labs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071108162010.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Micro Microwave Does Pinpoint Cooking For Miniaturized Labs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071108162010.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins