Heat-transfer analysis in microfluidic devices is of great importance in applications such as micro-heat exchangers and microreactors. This work reports on improvements in temperature measurement techniques, which can be the source of large errors due to their intrusiveness and the unreliability of conventional thermal sensors. Gold thin films were deposited on a borosilicate substrate to realize a 2D heat flux sensor for heat-transfer measurement along the main flow within microchannels. Two applications are shown, one related to micro-heat exchangers and the other to microreactors. For the micro-heat exchanger, the effect of length scale on heat transfer in a straight microchannel was investigated and the validity of macroscale correlations for convective heat transfer was checked for deionized water flowing in microchannels of heights 12 to 52 μm. For the microreactor, the reaction enthalpy of an acid–base reaction measured using the new heat-flux sensor had only a 5% discrepancy from the standard value, showing the efficiency of the new thin-film device.

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