Small Sensors, Big Impacts: Microcantilever For Mass Sensing Applications
Microcantlever, which resembles a miniature diving board (shrinks down to 1 million times smaller, in the order of microns), is one of the most commonly used micro structures for mass sensing applications. This cantilever resonates at its natural frequency, and as molecules of interest attach or detach from the surface, the natural frequency shifts down or up. The changes in frequency is directly relates to the changes in mass on the cantilever surface. One of the problems operating the sensor in air is that the air damping limits the amplitude response of the cantilever at its resonance, and hence, limit the resolution of the frequency shift and detectable mass. An unconventional method to overcome this drawback has been developed in Dr. Kimberly Turner's research group and uses parametric resonance. This project explores the use of parametric resonance to develop microcantilever-based sensors that have superior performance to available sensing methods.