Journal of Undergraduate Research


porous cantilevers, chemical sensors, solid resonant microcantilevers


Physical and Mathematical Sciences


Physics and Astronomy


Many chemical sensing methods rely on the binding mechanism of the analyte to create a measurable response, making it difficult to create new sensors quickly, but resonant sensors require only that an analyte be bound and rely on the resulting change in mass to obtain a measurement. Solid resonant microcantilevers, or small vibrating fixed-free beams, are a type of resonant sensor that have shown extremely high sensitivities in vacuum environments. The sensitivity of these cantilevers, however, decreases greatly in fluid environments such as air or water due to fluid damping. We propose that porous microcantilever sensors offers both a ten thousand fold increase in surface area available for analyte adsorption as well as a higher quality factor in the presence of fluid damping, allowing for high sensitivities to be obtained in gas and liquid environments. We also demonstrate fabrication, characterization, and testing of these porous microcantilever devices.

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