Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Papers

Turbulence measurements using a nanoscale thermal anemometry probe

SEAN C. C. BAILEYa1 c1, GARY J. KUNKELa1 p1, MARCUS HULTMARKa1, MARGIT VALLIKIVIa1, JEFFREY P. HILLa1 p2, KARL A. MEYERa1 p3, CANDICE TSAYa2, CRAIG B. ARNOLDa1 and ALEXANDER J. SMITSa1

a1 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

a2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

Abstract

A nanoscale thermal anemometry probe (NSTAP) has been developed to measure velocity fluctuations at ultra-small scales. The sensing element is a free-standing platinum nanoscale wire, 100 nm × 2 μm × 60 μm, suspended between two current-carrying contacts and the sensor is an order of magnitude smaller than presently available commercial hot wires. The probe is constructed using standard semiconductor and MEMS manufacturing methods, which enables many probes to be manufactured simultaneously. Measurements were performed in grid-generated turbulence and compared to conventional hot-wire probes with a range of sensor lengths. The results demonstrate that the NSTAP behaves similarly to conventional hot-wire probes but with better spatial resolution and faster temporal response. The results are used to investigate spatial filtering effects, including the impact of spatial filtering on the probability density of velocity and velocity increment statistics.

(Received May 26 2010)

(Revised June 24 2010)

(Accepted June 24 2010)

(Online publication September 01 2010)

Key words:

  • MEMS/NEMS;
  • turbulent flows

Correspondence:

c1 Present address: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40515, USA. Email address for correspondence: scbailey@engr.uky.edu

p1 Present address: Seagate Technology, Bloomington, MN 55435, USA

p2 Present address: Aero/Fluids/Performance Group, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, CA 94086, USA

p3 Present address: MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA 22102, USA

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