Precise temperature control and rapid thermal cycling in a micromachined DNA polymerase chain reaction chip

Dae Sung Yoon, You Seop Lee, Youngsun Lee, Hye Jung Cho, Su Whan Sung, Kwang W. Oh, Junhoe Cha, Geunbae Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


We have fabricated Si-based micromachined DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) chips with different groove depths. The platinum thin-film micro heater and the temperature sensor have been integrated on the chip. The volume of the PCR chamber in the chip is about 3.6 μl and the chip size is 17 × 40 mm2. The effects of groove geometry, including width, depth and position, on the thermal characteristics of the PCR chip have been investigated by numerical analysis and experimental measurement. From the results, the power consumption required for the PCR chip is reduced with the increase of groove depth. Compared with results for the case of no groove, the power consumption of the chip with a groove of 280 μm is reduced by 24.0%, 23.3% and 25.6% with annealing, extension and denaturation, respectively. The heating rate is increased rapidly with the increase of the groove depth. In particular, it is revealed that this effect is predominant for depths in the region above 280 μm. For a more precise control of chip temperature, the nonlinear feedback proportional-integral control scheme is used. The obtained heating and cooling rates are about 36°C s-1 and 22°C s-1, respectively. The overshoot and the steady state error are less than 0.7°C and ±0.1°C, respectively. In the experiment, the effects of the PCR buffer and the bubbles in the chamber on the temperature uniformity have also been studied. From the temperature measurement, it is revealed that the temperature difference between the thin-film sensor (on the lower plate) and the PCR buffer can be neglected if there is no air bubble in the PCR buffer. With such a high performance control scheme, we could implement a remarkable thermal cycling of conducting 30 cycles for 3 min. Finally, the chip PCR of plasmid DNA was successfully performed with no additives using the temperature control system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-823
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Nov
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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