UNL engineers create microscopic heater-thermometer

This video shows the tuning of the micro 'incandescent lamp.'

A group of University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineers and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have created a temperature sensor with the goal of improving how the oceanic dynamics that shape marine biology, climate patterns and military operations are measured.

Ming Han, Guigen Liu, Qiwen Sheng, Dustin Dam, Jiong Hua, all with UNL, and Weilin “Will” Hou with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory contributed to the work.

Han said the device is like a "tiny furnace," adding that it "acts as a thermometer whose performance at extreme heat would allow it to monitor temperature in the demanding environments of engines and power plants."

Due to its heating capability, the device could have many uses, including monitoring greenhouse gases, prepparing specimens for biological research and producing micro-bubbles for medical or industrial applications

Liu said its "ability to generate a broad swath of wavelengths in the near- to far-infrared range could prove especially useful in detecting gases based on how they interact with those waves."

The work was funded by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation and the Nebraska Research Initiative.

Learn more about the device and project here.