Innovative Research on Microcantilevers by Purdue University
Research has been done for the development of small vibrating microcantilever sensors which can be used to identify biological and chemical agents.
These sensors can be used for the detection of DNA and proteins and for biological analysis of gas, liquid and air. They can also be used for monitoring water and food quality, industrial food processing and in-breathe analyzers and defense and national security.
Microcantilevers are tiny silicon pieces which appear like diving boards. The weight and constitution of a particle can be determined by a change in the frequency of the particle when it contacts the microcantilever.
Researches on tiny sensors show that particle mass can be determined by a change in amplitude or movement of diving board than depending on frequency.
Jeffrey Rhoads, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University said they have invented high-sensitivity, reliable, small scale, low power sensors. The study is published as a paper in the Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems which is written by Rhoads, George Chiu, J.William Boley and Vijay Kumar. The project was done at Dynamic Analysis of Micro and Nanosystems lab at Purdue’s Birck Nanotechnology Centre.
The objective of the study was to create sensors, which are able to measure minute particles with particle mass less than one picogram under ambient temperature and pressure. The project was carried out in a compartment containing exactly the required amount of methanol. They have concentrated on the measurement of lower quantity of gases. The invention is yet to be patented.