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Special Issue "Cantilever Sensor"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Erwin Peiner

Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Semiconductor Technology (IHT), Hans-Sommer-Str.66, Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), Langer Kamp 6a, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: MEMS/NEMS, semiconductor metrology, electronic packaging
Guest Editor
Dr.-Ing. Hutomo Suryo Wasisto

Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Semiconductor Technology (IHT), Hans-Sommer-Str.66, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany and Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), Langer Kamp 6a, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: NEMS/NOEMS; nanosensors; nanoelectronics; NanoLEDs; nanometrology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cantilevers, as one of the most basic types of mechanical sensors, have been continuously developed in various designs and dimensions, which are employed in broadened sensing applications. Forces acting on the cantilever induce a deflection, which can be detected by monitoring either its free-end displacement or generated strain in the clamping region. Different transducers can be employed to read out the output signals, including optical and electrical conversion methods, in which external or integrated detecting components can be used, e.g., optical triangulation or a piezoresistive strain gauge, respectively. Moreover, in the field of micro-/nano-electro-mechanical systems (M/NEMS), they have not only been fabricated in silicon but also extended into compound semiconductors (III-V nitrides: AlN and GaN), carbon-based (graphene and carbon nanotubes) and polymer materials. Most device fabrication processes are still based on planar technology because of their simplicity and cost effectiveness for large-volume industrial production as prerequisite to their widespread use. However, several cantilevers have been realized in 3D vertical architectures for enabling extremely large parallelization of the operating sensors on a much reduced active area, in which the structures are usually called micro-/nanopillars.

Cantilever sensors can be operated at quasi-static and dynamic conditions. Operated in resonance, they can detect ultra-small masses with resolution down to zepto- or yoctogram as required for highly sensitive environmental or biomedical sensing devices (e.g., gas, particulate matter, cell, protein, and DNA). In addition to combination with external exciting elements that are normally used in optomechanical metrology using lasers, recent actuators for vibration excitation have been increasingly integrated in the cantilever constructions, including piezoelectric thin films and electrothermal heating resistors. According to their design, cantilevers are also suitable for tactile probing of surfaces (e.g., in scanning probe microscopes). In this case, self-sensing cantilevers can measure the material surfaces and properties inside hard-to-access high-aspect-ratio structures, such as microholes and other irregular vertical objects. Cantilever force sensors are usable in grippers of next generation robotic systems and biomedical instrumentations or as precisely calibrated transferable artifacts to be disseminated by national metrology institutes.

The aim of this Special Issue is to gather original contributions or review papers from researchers that are actively engaged in developing new ideas in any of the innumerable sectors of development of cantilever sensors for various applications.

Papers are solicited in, though not limited to, the following areas: MEMS/NEMS, MOEMS/NOEMS, micro-/nanomachining, semiconductor cantilevers, polymer cantilevers, piezoelectric cantilevers, self-exciting cantilevers, self-sensing cantilevers, 3D vertical cantilevers, cantilever arrays, micro-/nanoresonators, contact resonance spectroscopy, environmental sensors, biochemical/medical sensors, scanning probe microscopy, tactile surface metrology, tactile sensors, and force calibration.

Prof. Dr. Erwin Peiner
Dr.-Ing. Hutomo Suryo Wasisto
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • MEMS/NEMS
  • Micro-/nanomachining
  • Optomechanical sensors
  • Semiconductor cantilevers
  • Polymer cantilevers
  • Piezoelectric cantilevers
  • Self-exciting cantilevers
  • Self-sensing cantilevers
  • 3D vertical cantilevers
  • Cantilever arrays
  • Micro-/nanoresonators
  • Contact resonance spectroscopy
  • Environmental sensors
  • Biochemical/medical sensors
  • Scanning probe microscopy
  • Tactile surface metrology
  • Tactile sensors
  • Force calibration

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Biocompatible Cantilevers for Mechanical Characterization of Zebrafish Embryos using Image Analysis
Sensors 2019, 19(7), 1506; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19071506
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
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Abstract
We have developed a force sensing system to continuously evaluate the mechanical elasticity of micrometer-scale (a few hundred micrometers to a millimeter) live tissues. The sensing is achieved by measuring the deflection of force sensitive cantilevers through microscopic image analysis, which does not [...] Read more.
We have developed a force sensing system to continuously evaluate the mechanical elasticity of micrometer-scale (a few hundred micrometers to a millimeter) live tissues. The sensing is achieved by measuring the deflection of force sensitive cantilevers through microscopic image analysis, which does not require electrical strain gauges. Cantilevers made of biocompatible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) were actuated by a piezoelectric actuator and functioned as a pair of chopsticks to measure the stiffness of the specimen. The dimensions of the cantilevers were easily adjusted to match the size, range, and stiffness of the zebrafish samples. In this paper, we demonstrated the versatility of this technique by measuring the mechanical elasticity of zebrafish embryos at different stages of development. The stiffness of zebrafish embryos was measured once per hour for 9 h. From the experimental results, we successfully quantified the stiffness change of zebrafish embryos during embryonic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cantilever Sensor)
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Open AccessArticle Long Slender Piezo-Resistive Silicon Microprobes for Fast Measurements of Roughness and Mechanical Properties inside Micro-Holes with Diameters below 100 µm
Sensors 2019, 19(6), 1410; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19061410
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract
During the past decade, piezo-resistive cantilever type silicon microprobes for high-speed roughness measurements inside high-aspect-ratio microstructures, like injection nozzles or critical gas nozzles have been developed. This article summarizes their metrological properties for fast roughness and shape measurements including noise, damping, tip form, [...] Read more.
During the past decade, piezo-resistive cantilever type silicon microprobes for high-speed roughness measurements inside high-aspect-ratio microstructures, like injection nozzles or critical gas nozzles have been developed. This article summarizes their metrological properties for fast roughness and shape measurements including noise, damping, tip form, tip wear, and probing forces and presents the first results on the measurement of mechanical surface parameters. Due to the small mass of the cantilever microprobes, roughness measurements at very high traverse speeds up to 15 mm/s are possible. At these high scanning speeds, considerable wear of the integrated silicon tips was observed in the past. In this paper, a new tip-testing artefact with rectangular grooves of different width was used to measure this wear and to measure the tip shape, which is needed for morphological filtering of the measured profiles and, thus, for accurate form measurements. To reduce tip wear, the integrated silicon tips were replaced by low-wear spherical diamond tips of a 2 µm radius. Currently, a compact microprobe device with an integrated feed-unit is being developed for high-speed roughness measurements on manufacturing machines. First measurements on sinusoidal artefacts were carried out successfully. Moreover, the first measurements of the elastic modulus of a polymer surface applying the contact resonance measurement principle are presented, which indicates the high potential of these microprobes for simultaneous high-speed roughness and mechanical parameter measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cantilever Sensor)
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Open AccessArticle A Geometrical Study on the Roof Tile-Shaped Modes in AlN-Based Piezoelectric Microcantilevers as Viscosity–Density Sensors
Sensors 2019, 19(3), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19030658
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Cantilever resonators based on the roof tile-shaped modes have recently demonstrated their suitability for liquid media monitoring applications. The early studies have shown that certain combinations of dimensions and order of the mode can maximize the Q-factor, what might suggest a competition between [...] Read more.
Cantilever resonators based on the roof tile-shaped modes have recently demonstrated their suitability for liquid media monitoring applications. The early studies have shown that certain combinations of dimensions and order of the mode can maximize the Q-factor, what might suggest a competition between two mechanisms of losses with different geometrical dependence. To provide more insight, a comprehensive study of the Q-factor and the resonant frequency of these modes in microcantilever resonators with lengths and widths between 250 and 3000 µm and thicknesses between 10 and 60 µm is presented. These modes can be efficiently excited by a thin piezoelectric AlN film and a properly designed top electrode layout. The electrical and optical characterization of the resonators are performed in liquid media and then their performance is evaluated in terms of quality factor and resonant frequency. A quality factor as high as 140 was measured in isopropanol for a 1000 × 900 × 10 µm3 cantilever oscillating in the 11th order roof tile-shaped mode at 4 MHz; density and viscosity resolutions of 10−6 g/mL and 10−4 mPa·s, respectively are estimated for a geometrically optimized cantilever resonating below 1 MHz. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cantilever Sensor)
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Open AccessArticle In-Fiber Collimator-Based Fabry-Perot Interferometer with Enhanced Vibration Sensitivity
Sensors 2019, 19(2), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19020435
Received: 22 November 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5118 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A simple vibration sensor is proposed and demonstrated based on an optical fiber Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) with an in-fiber collimator. The device was fabricated by splicing a quarter-pitch graded index fiber (GIF) with a section of a hollow-core fiber (HCF) interposed between single [...] Read more.
A simple vibration sensor is proposed and demonstrated based on an optical fiber Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) with an in-fiber collimator. The device was fabricated by splicing a quarter-pitch graded index fiber (GIF) with a section of a hollow-core fiber (HCF) interposed between single mode fibers (SMFs). The static displacement sensitivity of the FPI with an in-fiber collimator was 5.17 × 10−4 μm−1, whereas the maximum static displacement sensitivity of the device without collimator was 1.73 × 10−4 μm−1. Moreover, the vibration sensitivity of the FPI with the collimator was 60.22 mV/g at 100 Hz, which was significantly higher than the sensitivity of the FPI without collimator (11.09 mV/g at 100 Hz). The proposed FPI with an in-fiber collimator also exhibited a vibration sensitivity nearly one order of magnitude higher than the device without the collimator at frequencies ranging from 40 to 200 Hz. This low-cost FPI sensor is highly-sensitive, robust and easy to fabricate. It could potentially be used for vibration monitoring in remote and harsh environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cantilever Sensor)
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Open AccessArticle Voltage and Deflection Amplification via Double Resonance Excitation in a Cantilever Microstructure
Sensors 2019, 19(2), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19020380
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
PDF Full-text (3676 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cantilever electrostatically-actuated resonators show great promise in sensing and actuating applications. However, the electrostatic actuation suffers from high-voltage actuation requirements and high noise low-amplitude signal-outputs which limit its applications. Here, we introduce a mixed-frequency signal for a cantilever-based resonator that triggers its mechanical [...] Read more.
Cantilever electrostatically-actuated resonators show great promise in sensing and actuating applications. However, the electrostatic actuation suffers from high-voltage actuation requirements and high noise low-amplitude signal-outputs which limit its applications. Here, we introduce a mixed-frequency signal for a cantilever-based resonator that triggers its mechanical and electrical resonances simultaneously, to overcome these limitations. A single linear RLC circuit cannot completely capture the response of the resonator under double resonance excitation. Therefore, we develop a coupled mechanical and electrical mathematical linearized model at different operation frequencies and validate this model experimentally. The double-resonance excitation results in a 21 times amplification of the voltage across the resonator and 31 times amplitude amplification over classical excitation schemes. This intensive experimental study showed a great potential of double resonance excitation providing a high amplitude amplification and maintaining the linearity of the system when the parasitic capacitance is maintained low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cantilever Sensor)
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Open AccessArticle Tuneable Q-Factor of MEMS Cantilevers with Integrated Piezoelectric Thin Films
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3842; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113842
Received: 2 September 2018 / Revised: 3 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In atomic force microscopes (AFM) a resonantly excited, micro-machined cantilever with a tip is used for sensing surface-related properties. When targeting the integration of AFMs into vacuum environments (e.g., for enhancing the performance of scanning electron microscopes), a tuneable Q-factor of the resonating [...] Read more.
In atomic force microscopes (AFM) a resonantly excited, micro-machined cantilever with a tip is used for sensing surface-related properties. When targeting the integration of AFMs into vacuum environments (e.g., for enhancing the performance of scanning electron microscopes), a tuneable Q-factor of the resonating AFM cantilever is a key feature to enable high speed measurements with high local resolution. To achieve this goal, in this study an additional mechanical stimulus is applied to the cantilever with respect to the stimulus provided by the macroscopic piezoelectric actuator. This additional stimulus is generated by an aluminum nitride piezoelectric thin film actuator integrated on the cantilever, which is driven by a phase shifted excitation. The Q-factor is determined electrically by the piezoelectric layer in a Wheatstone bridge configuration and optically verified in parallel with a laser Doppler vibrometer. Depending on the measurement technique, the Q-factor is reduced by a factor of about 1.9 (electrically) and 1.6 (optically), thus enabling the damping of MEMS structures with a straight-forward and cheap electronic approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cantilever Sensor)
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Open AccessArticle Buckling-Based Non-Linear Mechanical Sensor
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2637; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082637
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 11 August 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2300 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mechanical sensors provide core keys for high-end research in quantitative understanding of fundamental phenomena and practical applications such as the force or pressure sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope. In particular, in situ sensitive and reliable detection is essential for measurements of the mechanical vibration [...] Read more.
Mechanical sensors provide core keys for high-end research in quantitative understanding of fundamental phenomena and practical applications such as the force or pressure sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope. In particular, in situ sensitive and reliable detection is essential for measurements of the mechanical vibration and displacement forces in inertial sensors or seismometers. However, enhancing sensitivity, reducing response time and equipping sensors with a measurement capability of bidirectional mechanical perturbations remains challenging. Here, we demonstrate the buckling cantilever-based non-linear dynamic mechanical sensor which addresses intrinsic limitations associated with high sensitivity, reliability and durability. The cantilever is attached on to a high-Q tuning fork and initially buckled by being pressed against a solid surface while a flexural stress is applied. Then, buckling instability occurs near the bifurcation region due to lateral movement, which allows high-sensitive detection of the lateral and perpendicular surface acoustic waves with bandwidth-limited temporal response of less than 1 ms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cantilever Sensor)
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