Thin film platinum-palladium thermocouples for gas turbine engine applications

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Thin film platinum:palladium thermocouples were fabricated on alumina and mullite surfaces using radio frequency sputtering and characterized after high temperature exposure to oxidizing environments. The thermoelectric output, hysteresis, and drift of these sensors were measured at temperatures up to 1100 C. Auger electron spectroscopy was used to follow the extent of oxidation in each thermocouple leg and interdiffusion at the metallurgical junction. Minimal oxidation of the platinum and palladium thermoelements was observed after high temperature exposure, but considerable dewetting and faceting of the films were observed in scanning electron microscopy. An Arrhenius temperature dependence on the drift rate was observed and later attributed to microstructural changes during thermal cycling. The thin film thermocouples, however, did exhibit excellent stability at 1000 C with drift rates comparable to commercial type-K wire thermocouples. Based on these results, platinum:palladium thin film thermocouples have considerable potential for use in the hot sections of gas turbine engines. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Thin Solid Films