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Simulated Thermal Characterization of Materials Via a Blu-ray Based Scanning Fluorescence Microscope



An increasing need for cleaner energy generation has renewed interest in nuclear energy. To make nuclear energy safer, there is a need for thermal measurements of new materials, including nuclear fuels. Currently used methods are costly or lack the spatial resolution to measure properties necessary to model the strong radial temperature variations in a nuclear fuel rod and the changing microstructure of the fuel during irradiation. The current study is focused on a commercial Blu-ray player that has been modified to be a fluorescent scanning thermal microscope (FSTM) to provide spatially resolved measurements of thermal properties. Recent advancements in non-contact thermometry with quantum dot photoluminescence and improved accuracy of the reconstructed temperature with neural networks allows the thermal response of the material to be more accurately determined. The player’s infrared laser diode provides periodic heating to the sample, and its blue laser induces fluorescence in quantum dots on the sample’s surface to measure surface temperature. The motor in the Blu-ray player is capable of the fine motor controlled required to position the sample. An amplified photodiode, in addition to the one currently in the player, will capture the emitted light to determine the surface temperature after calibrating the device. Thermal wave models will relate the difference in the amplitude and phase of these waves to determine the thermal properties of the material. Finally, the results demonstrate the feasibility of the device to correctly measure the thermophysical properties of materials when lock-in amplification detection is used. Fluorescence detection and modulation of the infrared laser are verified. The results from the simulation show that this is accurate at low frequencies, but deviation at higher frequencies show the necessity of a lock in amplifier to isolate the thermal wave signal at the modulation frequency.


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