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Microcantilevers used as (bio)chemical sensors are usually coated with a chemically sensitive layer. The coated devices operate either in a static bending regime or in a dynamic flexural mode. While the coated devices operate generally well in both the static and dynamic mode, they do suffer from certain shortcomings depending on the medium of operation and the application, including lack of selectivity and of reversibility of the sensitive coating and a reduced quality factor due to the surrounding medium. In particular, the performance of microcantilevers excited in their standard out-of-plane dynamic mode drastically decreases in viscous liquid media. Moreover, the responses of coated cantilevers operating in the static bending mode are often difficult to interpret. To resolve those performance issues, unconventional uses of microcantilever are reviewed in this paper, which consist of the use of the dynamic mode without sensitive coating, the use of in-plane (flexural and longitudinal) vibration modes in liquid media, and fully accounting for the viscoelastic effects of the coatings in the static mode of operation. The advantages and drawbacks of these unconventional uses of microcantilevers for chemical sensing in gas and liquid environments are discussed.
Dufour, Isabelle; Josse, Fabien; Heinrich, Stephen M.; Lucat, C.; Ayela, C.; Ménil, F.; and Brand, Oliver, "Unconventional Uses of Cantilevers for Chemical Sensing in Gas and Liquid Environments" (2010). Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Research and Publications. 54.