Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research gives crystal clear temperature readings from toughest environments

Date:
September 6, 2011
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Researchers in the UK have developed a form of crystal that can deliver highly accurate temperature readings, down to individual milli-kelvins, over a very broad range of temperatures: from -120 to +680 degrees centigrade.

Prof. Pam Thomas and Dr. Mike Glazer with the device -- a Zero-Birefringence Optical Temperature Sensor.
Credit: University of Warwick picture

Researchers at the University of Warwick and Oxford University have developed a form of crystal that can deliver highly accurate temperature readings, down to individual milli-kelvins, over a very broad range of temperatures: from -120 to +680 degrees centigrade.

The researchers used a "birefringent" crystal which splits light passing through it into two separate rays. Research has already shown that the size of the effect will increase or decrease in proportion to the temperature of the crystal. Therefore, in theory, you could calibrate such crystals to be highly accurate temperature gauges.

However, the use of birefringence in this way has significant problems in practice. This temperature measuring ability of highly birefringent crystals is badly compromised by changes in the thickness and orientation of the crystal. This adds expense to the manufacture and calibration of such crystals and makes them almost unusable in situations where, for example, vibration could alter the orientation of the crystal.

However the Warwick and Oxford researchers have developed a reproducible a and low-cost method of modifying the properties of crystalline lithium tantalate so that its birefringence is virtually independent of the crystal's thickness and position making it resistant to vibration and cheaper to manufacture. In fact, they have made the birefringence almost zero in magnitude in all directions (the material is close to being optically isotropic just like ordinary glass). However, the slightest temperature change induces a rapid increase in birefringence in these materials, making this a reliable, robust and very sensitive method for measuring temperature. The inventors have named their (Z-BotS) and are currently seeking follow-on funding to develop the device from the bench-top proof-of-concept to a miniaturized commercially-viable package.

Professor Pam Thomas of the University of Warwick said: "This advance, which has come out of research funded by EPSRC, allows us to create a new generation of robust reliable birefringent crystal based temperature sensing equipment which will be particularly valuable in electromagnetic, radio frequency and high voltage environments, where other types of sensor are subject to large errors due to interference. Examples are temperature measurement within the vicinity of MRI scanners in hospitals, industrial microwave dryers and the human body."

Professor Mike Glazer of the University of Oxford said: "This opens new possibilities for remote temperature sensing of challenging environments. As the birefringence changes detection in these crystals can actually be operated remotely as only the crystal itself needs to be in the environment. All the other components: light source, measurement and processing electronics can be situated remotely."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Research gives crystal clear temperature readings from toughest environments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110905090005.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2011, September 6). Research gives crystal clear temperature readings from toughest environments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110905090005.htm
University of Warwick. "Research gives crystal clear temperature readings from toughest environments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110905090005.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) Researchers from the University of Rochester have created a type of invisibility cloak with simple focal lenses. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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