Document Type




Publication Date



American Institute of Physics

Source Publication

Journal of Applied Physics

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1063/1.3674278


The characteristics of microcantilevers vibrating laterally in viscous liquid media are investigated and compared to those of similar microcantilevers vibrating in the out-of-plane direction. The hydrodynamic loading on the vibrating beam is first determined using a numerical model. A semi-analytical expression for the hydrodynamic forces in terms of the Reynolds number and the aspect ratio (beam thickness over beam width) is obtained by introducing a correction factor to Stokes’ solution for a vibrating plate of infinite area to account for the effects of the thickness. The results enable the effects of fluid damping and effective fluid mass on the resonant frequency and the quality factor (Q) to be investigated as a function of both the beam’s geometry and liquid medium’s properties and compared to experimentally determined values given in the literature. The resonant frequency and Q are found to be higher for laterally vibrating microcantilevers compared to those of similar geometry experiencing transverse (out-of-plane) vibration. Compared to transversely vibrating beams, the resonant frequency of laterally vibrating beams is shown to decrease at a slower rate (with respect to changes in viscosity) in media having higher viscosities than water. The theoretical results are compared to experimental data obtained for cantilevers completely immersed in solutions of varying aqueous percent glycerol. The increases in resonant frequency and Q are expected to yield much lower limits of detection in liquid-phase chemical sensing applications.


Published version. Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 111 (2012). DOI. © American Institute of Physics 2012. Used with permission.