Optofluidics is the marriage of microfluidics and optical technology. The NIST optical flow meter provides on chip assessment of flow and heat transfer resulting in improvement in fluid metrology and advances in biological sensing. Most current pressure measurements rely on external pressure transducers. However, due to pressure dissipation and delays in transmission, it is difficult to accurately measure local pressure in a microfluidic chip using that approach.

This invention is a thermal detector for optical and infrared radiation. The basis of the detector is a multiwall carbon nanotube array operating as a bolometer on micromachined silicon. The multiwall carbon nanotube array is multifunctional: heater, thermometer and radiation absorber. The micromachined silicon is a multifunctional platform for electrical wiring and the detector’s heat link. The heater provides a means to calibrate the detector electrically (voltage applied). What is new is that the detector is produced using technology common to semiconductor manufacturing.