A micro-machined thermal conductivity detector for a portable gas chromatograph. The detector is highly sensitive and has fast response time to enable detection of the small size gas samples in a portable gas chromatograph which are in the order of nanoliters. The high sensitivity and fast response time are achieved through micro-machined devices composed of a nickel wire, for example, on a silicon nitride window formed in a silicon member and about a millimeter square in size. In addition to operating as a thermal conductivity detector, the silicon nitride window with a micro-machined wire therein of the device can be utilized for a fast response heater for PCR applications.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.