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Sensors 2015, 15(9), 21785-21806; doi:10.3390/s150921785

Numerical Modeling and Experimental Validation by Calorimetric Detection of Energetic Materials Using Thermal Bimorph Microcantilever Array: A Case Study on Sensing Vapors of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

1
Korea Railroad Research Institute, 176 Cheoldo bangmulgwan-ro, Uiwang, Gyeonggi-do 16105, Korea
2
NanoINK, Inc., 215 E Hacienda Ave., Campbell, CA 95008, USA
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Tiemann
Received: 6 July 2015 / Revised: 23 August 2015 / Accepted: 27 August 2015 / Published: 31 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors—Designs and Applications)
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Abstract

Bi-layer (Au-Si3N4) microcantilevers fabricated in an array were used to detect vapors of energetic materials such as explosives under ambient conditions. The changes in the bending response of each thermal bimorph (i.e., microcantilever) with changes in actuation currents were experimentally monitored by measuring the angle of the reflected ray from a laser source used to illuminate the gold nanocoating on the surface of silicon nitride microcantilevers in the absence and presence of a designated combustible species. Experiments were performed to determine the signature response of this nano-calorimeter platform for each explosive material considered for this study. Numerical modeling was performed to predict the bending response of the microcantilevers for various explosive materials, species concentrations, and actuation currents. The experimental validation of the numerical predictions demonstrated that in the presence of different explosive or combustible materials, the microcantilevers exhibited unique trends in their bending responses with increasing values of the actuation current. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; NEMS; auto-ignition temperature; catalytic combustion; optical lever; CFD; CHT; computational analyses; experimental validation MEMS; NEMS; auto-ignition temperature; catalytic combustion; optical lever; CFD; CHT; computational analyses; experimental validation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kang, S.-W.; Fragala, J.; Banerjee, D. Numerical Modeling and Experimental Validation by Calorimetric Detection of Energetic Materials Using Thermal Bimorph Microcantilever Array: A Case Study on Sensing Vapors of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Sensors 2015, 15, 21785-21806.

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