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Open AccessArticle

Strategy toward Miniaturized, Self-out-Readable Resonant Cantilever and Integrated Electrostatic Microchannel Separator for Highly Sensitive Airborne Nanoparticle Detection

1
Institute of Semiconductor Technology (IHT), Technische Universität Braunschweig, Hans-Sommer-Str. 66, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
2
Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), Technische Universität Braunschweig, Langer Kamp 6a, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(4), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19040901
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eurosensors 2018 Selected Papers)
In this paper, a self-out-readable, miniaturized cantilever resonator for highly sensitive airborne nanoparticle (NP) detection is presented. The cantilever, which is operated in the fundamental in-plane resonance mode, is used as a microbalance with femtogram resolution. To maximize sensitivity and read-out signal amplitude of the piezo-resistive Wheatstone half bridge, the geometric parameters of the sensor design are optimized by finite element modelling (FEM). The electrical read-out of the cantilever movement is realized by piezo-resistive struts at the sides of the cantilever resonator that enable real-time tracking using a phase-locked loop (PLL) circuit. Cantilevers with minimum resonator mass of 1.72 ng and resonance frequency of ~440 kHz were fabricated, providing a theoretical sensitivity of 7.8 fg/Hz. In addition, for electrostatic NP collection, the cantilever has a negative-biased electrode located at its free end. Moreover, the counter-electrode surrounding the cantilever and a µ-channel, guiding the particle-laden air flow towards the cantilever, are integrated with the sensor chip. µ-channels and varying sampling voltages will also be used to accomplish particle separation for size-selective NP detection. To sum up, the presented airborne NP sensor is expected to demonstrate significant improvements in the field of handheld, micro-/nanoelectromechanical systems (M/NEMS)-based NP monitoring devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticles; self-reading femtogram balance; cantilever resonator; FEM simulations; electrostatic particle collection nanoparticles; self-reading femtogram balance; cantilever resonator; FEM simulations; electrostatic particle collection
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Bertke, M.; Xu, J.; Fahrbach, M.; Setiono, A.; Wasisto, H.S.; Peiner, E. Strategy toward Miniaturized, Self-out-Readable Resonant Cantilever and Integrated Electrostatic Microchannel Separator for Highly Sensitive Airborne Nanoparticle Detection. Sensors 2019, 19, 901.

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