Group Thermal Measurement Techniques and Systems

This group’s research focus is on thermal sensors made of various materials and systems for temperature dependent materials characterization. Flexible substrates allow very small temperature differentials to be measured using so-called calorimeter chips and a wide range of material parameters, such as thermal and electrical conductivity, to be determined using press-on measuring structures. We develop microstructures and microsystems for temperature dependent determination of material parameters, e.g. thermopiles, tailored to specific applications. Fluid sensor technology on polymer substrates developed by the group are used for oil quality monitoring, our fouling sensors detect the degree of scaling in production plants. In the context of thermal impedance analysis, we employ coupled thermal-electrical finite element models. A further research focus of the group is on modelling and validation of coupled thermal-electric-mechanical effects in microsystems as well as in larger systems such as energy storage systems for geothermal applications.

Custom-made microstructures

  • Microstructures for organic electronics, heaters and microfluidics with structures of typically 1 µm
  • Thermopile sensors, fouling sensors, calorimetric sensors
  • Thermal sensors for determining material parameters, especially thermal conductivity
  • Electronic tongues

Thermal measurement systems

  • Systems for determining electrical conductivity, charge carrier concentration, Seebeck coefficient, majority charge carriers, e.g. by way of Hall measurements on semiconductors from –200 to 800 °C
  • Systems for measurement of thermal properties of solids, liquids and gases by employing electric and thermal impedance measurement (3 omega method)

Simulation of physical processes

  • Coupled finite element models (FEM)
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with thermal analysis
  • Simulation of geothermal processes and design of energy storage devices
  • Thermal management for systems validation