Setting a temperature
You can change the temperature of a Temperature Module in two ways:
Change temperature: this tells the module to begin ramping to a new temperature.
Deactivate: this tells the module to passively return to the temperature of the room that it’s in.
Instructing the module to change temperature does not mean it immediately reaches this new temperature. Please keep in mind that a temperature change can take varying amounts of time depending on the distance between its current temperature and the goal temperature, as well as the temperature of the room which it is in.
You can use the Pause step to create a gating temperature that will pause your protocol until that temperature condition is met.
There are a couple potential outcomes of a Pause step:
The module has already reached the temperature by the time the protocol reaches the pause. The protocol proceeds without pausing.
The module is still ramping and not yet at the temperature by the time the protocol reaches the pause. The protocol pauses and proceeds once the temperature has been reached.
The module never reaches the goal temperature so the protocol gets stuck in a pause indefinitely. This is can happen as a result of two potential scenarios:
One scenario is if you set a gating temperature that is not between the module’s current temperature and goal temperature, creating a pause with a resume condition that will never be met (example: a module is 27°C, temperature has been set to 35°C, but the protocol is waiting until the module hits 4°C).
A second scenario is one in which there are physical run conditions that mean the module will never reach the gating temperature (example: the module breaks down). This is not something the Protocol Designer can anticipate.
Choosing when to create a Temperature-gated Pause
If you create the Pause step immediately after your Temperature step then the protocol will stop immediately and wait until the module is done ramping to its next temperature.
To optimize for time you may want to employ one of the following strategies:
Set the temperature first, then pause until that temperature is reached later. This allows the protocol to proceed with some steps as the module changes temperature.
Use a gating temperature that isn’t your goal temperature. (example: If your protocol has some temperature flexibility in it you may want to start your next steps at 5°C, even if your goal temperature is 4°C.