Pyrolytic carbon resonators for micromechanical thermal analysis

Long Quang Nguyen*, Peter Emil Larsen, Tom Larsen, Sanjukta Bose-Goswami, Luis Guillermo Villanueva, Anja Boisen, Stephan Sylvest Keller

*Corresponding author for this work

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Thermal analysis is essential for the characterization of polymers and drugs. However, the currently established methods require a large amount of sample. Here, we present pyrolytic carbon resonators as promising tools for micromechanical thermal analysis (MTA) of nanograms of polymers. Doubly clamped pre-stressed beams with a resonance frequency of 233 ± 4 kHz and a quality factor (Q factor) of 800 ± 200 were fabricated. Optimization of the electrical conductivity of the pyrolytic carbon allowed us to explore resistive heating for integrated temperature control. MTA was achieved by monitoring the resonance frequency and quality factor of the carbon resonators with and without a deposited sample as a function of temperature. To prove the potential of pyrolytic carbon resonators as thermal analysis tools, the glass transition temperature (Tg) of semicrystalline poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) and the melting temperature (Tm) of poly(caprolactone) (PCL) were determined. The results show that the Tg of PLLA and Tm of PCL are 61.0 ± 0.8 °C and 60.0 ± 1.0 °C, respectively, which are in excellent agreement with the values measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).
Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalMicrosystems & Nanoengineering (Online)
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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