Matthew W Moorman

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

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Publications (19)27.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Measurement and modeling of gas flows in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) scale channels are relevant to the fundamentals of rarefied gas dynamics (RGD) and the practical design of MEMS-based flow systems and micropumps. We describe techniques for building robust, leak-free, rectangular microchannels which are relevant to micro- and nanofluidic devices, while the channels themselves are useful for fundamental RGD studies. For the first time, we report the isothermal steady flow of helium (He) gas through these channels from the continuum to the free-molecular regime in the unprecedented Knudsen range of 0.03–1000. On the high end, our value is 20-fold larger than values previously reported by Ewart et al (2007 J. Fluid Mech. 584 337–56). We accomplished this through a dual-tank accumulation technique which enabled the monitoring of very low flow rates, below 10−14 kg s−1. The devices were prebaked under vacuum for 24 h at 100 °C in order to reduce outgassing and attain high Kn. We devised fabrication methods for controlled-depth micro-gap channels using silicon for both channel ceiling and floor, thereby allowing direct comparisons to models which utilize this simplifying assumption. We evaluated the results against a closed-form expression that accurately reproduces the continuum, slip, transition, and free-molecular regimes developed partly by using the direct simulation Monte Carlo method. The observed data were in good agreement with the expression. For Kn > ~100, we observed minor deviations between modeled and experimental flow values. Our fabrication processes and experimental data are useful to fundamental RGD studies and future MEMS microflow devices with respect to extremely low-flow measurements, model validation, and predicting optimal designs.
    Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 04/2014; 24(5):055013. · 1.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pathogenic Mycobacteria cause diseases in animals and humans with significant economic and societal consequences. Current methods for Mycobacterial detection relies upon time- and labor-intensive techniques such as culturing or DNA analysis. Using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, four volatile compounds (methyl phenylacetate, methyl p-anisate, methyl nicotinate and o-phenyl anisole) were recently proposed as potential biomarkers for Mycobacteria. We demonstrate for the first time the capabilities of a field-deployable, pulsed discharge helium ionization detector (PDHID) for sensing these volatiles. We determined the analytical performance of the PDHID toward these Mycobacterial volatiles. Detector performance was moderately affected over the temperature range of 150 to 350 °C. The linear dynamic range for all four analytes exceeded three orders of magnitude. The limits of detection (LOD) and quantitation (LOQ) were calculated as 150 and 450 pg respectively, for all compounds, except methyl phenylacetate (LOD and LOQ, 90 and 270 pg, respectively). Control charts revealed that the PDHID detection system was generally stable, and deviations could be traced to common causes and excluded special causes. Grob tests and ionization potential data suggest that the PDHID is capable of detecting Mycobacterial volatiles in a complex milieu such as culture headspace or breath samples from tuberculosis patients. The diagnostic potential of the PDHID is critical to our goal of a handheld, field-deployable 'sniffer' system for biological pathogens and chemical warfare agents.
    Journal of Breath Research 07/2013; 7(3):037107. · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A 3D finite element model was developed to optimize the kinetics and mass transfer characteristics of low concentration, 18 bp ssDNA targets in bulk media solution, to 18 bp complimentary oligonucleotide probes immobilized on electrochemical detection electrodes positioned along the length of a microfluidic channel. Conditions considered in the model were fluid flow rate, diffusion time, DNA melting temperature, number of matching base pairs, and temperature of the fluid in the channel. System optimization was based on maximizing the uniformity and surface concentration of the specifically bound hybridized DNA, minimizing waste volume generation and the hybridization time. With the coupled simulation method used, the total experiment time was reduced from 150 to 60 min and the simulated results were consistent with experimental results found in the literature. A stopped flow procedure was investigated as a means to improve hybridization. This procedure can not only improve uniformity and capture efficiency, and reduce waste, but can also decrease overall signal intensity relative to continuous flow operation. Finally, the use of temperature in reducing mismatched hybridization and improving duplex stability was also successfully modeled and simulated.
    Electrophoresis 07/2013; 34(14):2112-9. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Current atomic clocks are burdened by size, weight, power and portability limitations to satisfy a broad range of potential applications. One critical need in the fabrication of a miniaturized atomic clock is small, low-power metallic sources. Exploiting the relatively high vapor pressure of ytterbium (Yb) and its dissolution in anhydrous ammonia, we report two independent techniques for depositing Yb inside a well micromachined into a microhotplate. Subsequent in situ evaporation of Yb from the microhotplate well serves as a low-power metallic source suitable for atomic clocks. The deposition and evaporation of Yb were confirmed using a variety of physicochemical techniques including quartz crystal microbalance, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and laser fluorescence. We also describe the fabrication of the microhotplate device, an integral component of our Yb-based miniature atomic clock. The Yb deposition/evaporation on a microhotplate well is thus useful as a low power Yb source during the fabrication of a miniaturized atomic clock, and this technique could be used for other applications requiring a vapor of a metal that has a moderate vapor pressure.
    Optics Express 10/2012; 20(22):24650-63. · 3.55 Impact Factor
  • Macromolecular Rapid Communications 08/2012; 33(16). · 4.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The synthesis of two new polyphenylene vinylene (PPV) precursor polymers which can be thermally induced to eliminate pentanol is presented. Pentanol has recently been discovered to be a very useful lubricant in MicroElectroMechanical Systems. The utilization of the elimination reaction of precursor polymers to PPV as a small molecule delivery platform has, to the best of our knowledge, not been previously reported. The elimination reactions were examined using thermal gravimetric analysis, gas chromatography, and UV-Vis spectroscopy. Using PPV precursors allows for (1) a high loading of lubricant (one molecule per monomeric unit), (2) a platform that requires relatively high temperatures (>145 °C) to eliminate the lubricant, and (3) a non-volatile, mechanically and chemically stable by-product of the elimination reaction (PPV).
    Macromolecular Rapid Communications 07/2012; 33(16):1346-50. · 4.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The deleterious consequences of climate change are well documented. Future climate treaties might mandate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions measurement from signatories in order to verify compliance. The acquisition of atmospheric chemistry would benefit from low cost, small size/weight/power of microsystems. In this paper, we investigated several key materials science aspects of a phase-change microvalve (PCμV) technology with low power/size/weight/cost for ubiquitous GHG sampling. The novel design, based on phase-change material low-melting-point eutectic metal alloys (indium-bismuth, InBi and tin-lead, SnPb), could be actuated at temperatures as low as 72 °C. Valve manufacturing was based on standard thick and thin-film processes and solder technologies that are commonly used in industry, enabling low-cost, high-volume fabrication. Aging studies showed that it was feasible to batch fabricate the PCμVs and store them for future use, especially in the case of SnPb alloys. Hermetic sealing of the valve prototypes was demonstrated through helium leak testing, and Mil spec leak rates less than 1 × 10(-9) atm cm(3)/s were achieved. This confirms that the sample capture and analysis interval can be greatly expanded, easing the logistical burdens of ubiquitous GHG monitoring. Highly conservative and hypothetical CO(2) bias due to valve actuation at altitude in 1 cm(3) microsamplers would be significantly below 1.0 and 2.2 ppmv for heat-treated InBi and SnPb solders, respectively. The CO(2) bias from the PCμV scales well, as a doubling of sampler volume halved the bias. We estimated the shelf life of the SnPb PCμVs to be at least 2.8 years. These efforts will enable the development of low cost, low dead volume, small size/weight microsystems for monitoring GHGs and volatile organic compounds.
    The Review of scientific instruments 03/2012; 83(3):031301. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We are developing a highly miniaturized trapped ion clock to probe the 12.6 GHz hyperfine transition in the 171Yb+ ion. The clock development is being funded by the Integrated Micro Primary Atomic Clock Technology (IMPACT) program from DARPA where the stated goals are to develop a clock that consumes 50 mW of power, has a size of 5 cm3, and has a long-term frequency stability of 10-14 at one month. One of the significant challenges will be to develop miniature single-frequency lasers at 369 nm and 935 nm and the optical systems to deliver light to the ions and to collect ion fluorescence on a detector.
    Proc SPIE 05/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Gas chromatography (GC) is used for organic and inorganic gas detection with a range of applications including screening for chemical warfare agents (CWA), breath analysis for diagnostics or law enforcement purposes, and air pollutants/indoor air quality monitoring of homes and commercial buildings. A field-portable, light weight, low power, rapid response, micro-gas chromatography (μGC) system is essential for such applications. We describe the design, fabrication and packaging of μGC on monolithically-integrated Si dies, comprised of a preconcentrator (PC), μGC column, detector and coatings for each of these components. An important feature of our system is that the same mechanical micro resonator design is used for the PC and detector. We demonstrate system performance by detecting four different CWA simulants within 2 min. We present theoretical analyses for cost/power comparisons of monolithic versus hybrid μGC systems. We discuss thermal isolation in monolithic systems to improve overall performance. Our monolithically-integrated μGC, relative to its hybrid cousin, will afford equal or slightly lower cost, a footprint that is 1/2 to 1/3 the size and an improved resolution of 4 to 25%.
    Sensors 01/2011; 11(7):6517-32. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A microfabricated field calibration assembly for use in calibrating analytical instruments and sensor systems. The assembly comprises a circuit board comprising one or more resistively heatable microbridge elements, an interface device that enables addressable heating of the microbridge elements, and, in some embodiments, a means for positioning the circuit board within an inlet structure of an analytical instrument or sensor system.
    01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a microfluidic platform for real-time imaging of host-pathogen interactions and cellular signaling events. Host cells are immobilized in a controlled environment for optical interrogation of the kinetics and stochasticity of immune response to pathogenic challenges. Here, we have quantitatively measured activation of the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) pathway in RAW264.7 murine macrophage-like cells. This was achieved by measuring the cytoplasm-to-nucleus translocation kinetics of a green fluorescent protein fusion construct to the NF-kappaB transcription factor subunit RelA (GFP-RelA). Translocation kinetics in response to live bacteria and purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenges were measured, and this work presents the first demonstration of live imaging of host cell infection on a microfluidic platform with quantitative analysis of an early (<0.5 h from infection) immune signaling event. Our data show that a 1,000x increase in the LPS dose led to a ~10x increase in a host cell activation metric we developed in order to describe NF-kappaB translocation kinetics. Using this metric, live bacteria challenges were assigned an equivalent LPS dose as a first step towards comparing NF-kappaB translocation kinetics between TLR4-only pathway signaling (activated by LPS) and multiple pathway signaling (activated by whole bacteria). The device also contains a unique architecture for capturing and fluidically isolating single host cells for the purpose of differentiating between primary and secondary immune signaling.
    Biomedical Microdevices 06/2009; 11(3):693-700. · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The overarching goal is to develop novel technologies to elucidate molecular mechanisms of the innate immune response in host cells to pathogens such as bacteria and viruses including the mechanisms used by pathogens to subvert/suppress/obfuscate the immune response to cause their harmful effects. Innate immunity is our first line of defense against a pathogenic bacteria or virus. A comprehensive 'system-level' understanding of innate immunity pathways such as toll-like receptor (TLR) pathways is the key to deciphering mechanisms of pathogenesis and can lead to improvements in early diagnosis or developing improved therapeutics. Current methods for studying signaling focus on measurements of a limited number of components in a pathway and hence, fail to provide a systems-level understanding. We have developed a systems biology approach to decipher TLR4 pathways in macrophage cell lines in response to exposure to pathogenic bacteria and their lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Our approach integrates biological reagents, a microfluidic cell handling and analysis platform, high-resolution imaging and computational modeling to provide spatially- and temporally-resolved measurement of TLR-network components. The Integrated microfluidic platform is capable of imaging single cells to obtain dynamic translocation data as well as high-throughput acquisition of quantitative protein expression and phosphorylation information of selected cell populations. The platform consists of multiple modules such as single-cell array, cell sorter, and phosphoflow chip to provide confocal imaging, cell sorting, flow cytomtery and phosphorylation assays. The single-cell array module contains fluidic constrictions designed to trap and hold single host cells. Up to 100 single cells can be trapped and monitored for hours, enabling detailed statistically-significant measurements. The module was used to analyze translocation behavior of transcription factor NF-kB in macrophages upon activation by E. coli and Y. pestis LPS. The chip revealed an oscillation pattern in translocation of NF-kB indicating the presence of a negative feedback loop involving IKK. Activation of NF-kB is preceded by phosphorylation of many kinases and to correlate the kinase activity with translocation, we performed flow cytometric assays in the PhosphoChip module. Phopshorylated forms of p38. ERK and RelA were measured in macrophage cells challenged with LPS and showed a dynamic response where phosphorylation increases with time reaching a maximum at {approx}30-60min. To allow further downstream analysis on selected cells, we also implemented an optical-trapping based sorting of cells. This has allowed us to sort macrophages infected with bacteria from uninfected cells with the goal of obtaining data only on the infected (the desired) population. The various microfluidic chip modules and the accessories required to operate them such as pumps, heaters, electronic control and optical detectors are being assembled in a bench-top, semi-automated device. The data generated is being utilized to refine existing TLR pathway model by adding kinetic rate constants and concentration information. The microfluidic platform allows high-resolution imaging as well as quantitative proteomic measurements with high sensitivity (<pM) and time-resolution ({approx}15 s) in the same population of cells, a feat not achievable by current techniques. Furthermore, our systems approach combining the microfluidic platform and high-resolution imaging with the associated computational models and biological reagents will significantly improve our ability to study cell-signaling involved in host-pathogen interactions and other diseases such as cancer. The advances made in this project have been presented at numerous national and international conferences and are documented in many peer-reviewed publications as listed. Finer details of many of the component technologies are described in these publications. The chapters to follow in this report are also adapted from other manuscripts that are accepted for publication, submitted or in preparation to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals.
    12/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: The mass-sensitive smart preconcentrator (SPC) consists of a Lorentz-Force-actuated MEMS resonator with an integral heater and surface coating for the collection of chemical analytes. Control circuitry is used to drive the SPC to resonance and measure its oscillation frequency. The frequency shift produced by adsorption of analyte on the SPC surface is inversely proportional to the mass of analyte collected. Thus, the SPC can measure when it has collected sufficient analyte for a downstream detection system. The limit of detection (LOD) of the SPC is less than 50 ppb for DMMP (dimethyl-methyl-phosphonate). At 1 ppm, less than 1 second collection of DMMP is sufficient to trigger analysis. An analytical model of operation of the SPC is used to predict the motion of the paddle and the shear modulus of silicon.
    ECS Transactions 10/2008; 16(11).
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes results from using a microcombustor to create two hydrocarbon gas sensors: one utilizing calorimetry and the other a flame ionization detector (FID) mechanism. The microcombustor consists of a catalytic film deposited on the surface of a microhotplate. This micromachined design has low heat capacity and thermal conductivity, making it ideal for heating catalysts placed on its surface. The catalytic materials provide a natural surface-based method for flame ignition and stabilization and are deposited using a micropen system, which allows precise and repeatable placement of the materials. The catalytic nature of the microcombustor design expands the limits of flammability (LoF) as compared with conventional diffusion flames; an unoptimized LoF of 1-32% for natural gas in air was demonstrated with the microcombustor, whereas conventionally 4-16% is observed. The LoF for hydrogen, methane, propane and ethane are likewise expanded. Expanded LoF permit the use of this technology in applications needing reduced temperatures, lean fuel/air mixes, or low gas flows. By coupling electrodes and an electrometer circuit with the microcombustor, the first ever demonstration of a microFID utilizing premixed fuel and a catalytically-stabilized flame has been performed; the detection of 1.2-2.9 % of ethane in a hydrogen/air mix is shown.
    Micromachining and Microfabrication; 01/2003
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    ABSTRACT: This report provides a detailed overview of the work performed for project number 130781, 'A Systems Biology Approach to Understanding Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Pathogenesis.' We report progress in five key areas: single cell isolation devices and control systems, fluorescent cytokine and transcription factor reporters, on-chip viral infection assays, molecular virology analysis of Arenavirus nucleoprotein structure-function, and development of computational tools to predict virus-host protein interactions. Although a great deal of work remains from that begun here, we have developed several novel single cell analysis tools and knowledge of Arenavirus biology that will facilitate and inform future publications and funding proposals.
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    ABSTRACT: A microflame-based detector suit has been developed for sensing of a broad range of chemical analytes. This detector combines calorimetry, flame ionization detection (FID), nitrogen-phosphorous detection (NPD) and flame photometric detection (FPD) modes into one convenient platform based on a microcombustor. The microcombustor consists in a micromachined microhotplate with a catalyst or low-work function material added to its surface. For the NPD mode a low work function material selectively ionizes chemical analytes; for all other modes a supported catalyst such as platinum/alumina is used. The microcombustor design permits rapid, efficient heating of the deposited film at low power. To perform calorimetric detection of analytes, the change in power required to maintain the resistive microhotplate heater at a constant temperature is measured. For FID and NPD modes, electrodes are placed around the microcombustor flame zone and an electrometer circuit measures the production of ions. For FPD, the flame zone is optically interrogated to search for light emission indicative of deexcitation of flame-produced analyte compounds. The calorimetric and FID modes respond generally to all hydrocarbons, while sulfur compounds only alarm in the calorimetric mode, providing speciation. The NPD mode provides 10,000:1 selectivity of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds over hydrocarbons. The FPD can distinguish between sulfur and phosphorous compounds. Importantly all detection modes can be established on one convenient microcombustor platform, in fact the calorimetric, FID and FPD modes can be achieved simultaneously on only one microcombustor. Therefore, it is possible to make a very universal chemical detector array with as little as two microcombustor elements. A demonstration of the performance of the microcombustor in each of the detection modes is provided herein.
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    ABSTRACT: We have built and tested a miniaturized, thermoelectric power source that can provide in excess of 450 μW of power in a system size of 4.3cc, for a power density of 107 μW/cc, which is denser than any system of this size previously reported. The system operates on 150mW of thermal input, which for this system was simulated with a resistive heater, but in application would be provided by a 0.4g source of ²³⁸Pu located at the center of the device. Output power from this device, while optimized for efficiency, was not optimized for form of the power output, and so the maximum power was delivered at only 41mV. An upconverter to 2.7V was developed concurrently with the power source to bring the voltage up to a usable level for microelectronics.
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    ABSTRACT: The microcombustor described in this report was developed primarily for thermal management in microsystems and as a platform for micro-scale flame ionization detectors (microFID). The microcombustor consists of a thin-film heater/thermal sensor patterned on a thin insulating membrane that is suspended from its edges over a silicon frame. This micromachined design has very low heat capacity and thermal conductivity and is an ideal platform for heating catalytic materials placed on its surface. Catalysts play an important role in this design since they provide a convenient surface-based method for flame ignition and stabilization. The free-standing platform used in the microcombustor mitigates large heat losses arising from large surface-to-volume ratios typical of the microdomain, and, together with the insulating platform, permit combustion on the microscale. Surface oxidation, flame ignition and flame stabilization have been demonstrated with this design for hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels premixed with air. Unoptimized heat densities of 38 mW/mm² have been achieved for the purpose of heating microsystems. Importantly, the microcombustor design expands the limits of flammability (Low as compared with conventional diffusion flames); an unoptimized LoF of 1-32% for natural gas in air was demonstrated with the microcombustor, whereas conventionally 4-16% observed. The LoF for hydrogen, methane, propane and ethane are likewise expanded. This feature will permit the use of this technology in many portable applications were reduced temperatures, lean fuel/air mixes or low gas flows are required. By coupling miniature electrodes and an electrometer circuit with the microcombustor, the first ever demonstration of a microFID utilizing premixed fuel and a catalytically-stabilized flame has been performed; the detection of -1-3% of ethane in hydrogen/air is shown. This report describes work done to develop the microcombustor for microsystem heating and flame ionization detection and includes a description of modeling and simulation performed to understand the basic operation of this device. Ancillary research on the use of the microcombustor in calorimetric gas sensing is also described where appropriate.