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Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10129-10142; doi:10.3390/s111110129

Electrostatic Excitation for the Force Amplification of Microcantilever Sensors

Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Research Lab, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, K.N.Toosi University of Technology, Tehran 19991-43344, Iran
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 September 2011 / Revised: 17 October 2011 / Accepted: 17 October 2011 / Published: 25 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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This paper describes an electrostatic excited microcantilever sensor operating in static mode that is more sensitive than traditional microcantilevers. The proposed sensor comprises a simple microcantilever with electrostatic excitation ability and an optical or piezoresistive detector. Initially the microcantilever is excited by electrostatic force to near pull-in voltage. The nonlinear behavior of the microcantilever in near pull-in voltage i.e., the inverse-square relation between displacement and electrostatic force provides a novel method for force amplification. In this situation, any external load applied to the sensor will be amplified by electrostatic force leading to more displacement. We prove that the proposed microcantilever sensor can be 2 to 100 orders more sensitive compared with traditional microcantilevers sensors of the same dimensions. The results for surface stress and the free-end point force load are discussed.
Keywords: microcantilever; force amplification; pull-in voltage microcantilever; force amplification; pull-in voltage
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shokuhfar, A.; Heydari, P.; Ebrahimi-Nejad, S. Electrostatic Excitation for the Force Amplification of Microcantilever Sensors. Sensors 2011, 11, 10129-10142.

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