Microfabricated sensor platform with through-glass vias for bidirectional 3-omega thermal characterization of solid and liquid samples

Corinna Grosse (Corresponding Author), Mohamad Abo Ras, Aapo Varpula, Kestutis Grigoras, Daniel May, Bernhard Wunderle, Pierre-Olivier Chapuis, Séverine Gomès, Mika Prunnila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


A novel microfabricated, all-electrical measurement platform is presented for a direct, accurate and rapid determination of the thermal conductivity and diffusivity of liquid and solid materials. The measurement approach is based on the bidirectional 3-omega method. The platform is composed of glass substrates on which sensor structures and a very thin dielectric nanolaminate passivation layer are fabricated. Using through-glass vias for contacting the sensors from the chip back side leaves the top side of the platform free for deposition, manipulation and optical inspection of the sample during 3-omega measurements. The thin passivation layer, which is deposited by atomic layer deposition on the platform surface, provides superior chemical resistance and allows for the measurement of electrically conductive samples, while maintaining the conditions for a simple thermal analysis. We demonstrate the measurement of thermal conductivities of borosilicate glass, pure water, glycerol, 2-propanol, PDMS, cured epoxy, and heat-sink compounds. The results compare well with both literature values and values obtained with the steady-state divided bar method. Small sample volumes (∼0.02 mm³) suffice for accurate measurements using the platform, allowing rapid temperature-dependent measurements of thermal properties, which can be useful for the development, optimization and quality testing of many materials, such as liquids, gels, pastes and solids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Part of the research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under GA no 604668 (QUANTIHEAT project). A part of the research has received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the project Nano-Proxi (13XP5005B) as well as from the Academy of Finland (Grant No. 295329) and the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Atomic Layer Deposition.


  • thermal sensors
  • bidirectional 3-omega method;
  • thermal characterization platform
  • thermal conductivity
  • thermal diffusivity
  • microfabrication
  • atomic layer deposition (ALD)
  • OtaNano


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