A sleeve-type silicon polymerase chain reaction (PCR) chamber or thermocycler having improved thermal performance. The silicon sleeve reaction chamber is improved in thermal performance by etched features therein that reduce thermal mass and increase the surface area of the sleeve for cooling. This improved thermal performance of the thermocycler enables an increase in speed and efficiency of the reaction chamber. The improvement is accomplished by providing grooves in the faces of the sleeve and a series of grooves on the interior surfaces that connect with grooves on the faces of the sleeve. The grooves can be anisotropically etched in the silicon sleeve simultaneously with formation of the chamber.
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.