Document Type




Publication Date



American Institute of Physics

Source Publication

Journal of Applied Physics

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1063/1.2902500


Absorption of a chemical analyte into a polymercoating results in an expansion governed by the concentration and type of analyte that has diffused into the bulk of the coating. When the coating is attached to a microcantilever, this expansion results in bending of the device. Assuming that absorption (i.e., diffusion across the surface barrier into the bulk of the coating) is Fickian, with a rate of absorption that is proportional to the difference between the absorbed concentration and the equilibrium concentration, and the coating is elastic, the bending response of the coated device should exhibit a first-order behavior. However, for polymercoatings, complex behaviors exhibiting an overshoot that slowly decays to the steady-state value have been observed. A theoretical model of absorption-induced static bending of a microcantilever coated with a viscoelastic material is presented, starting from the general stress/strain relationship for a viscoelastic material. The model accounts for viscoelasticstress relaxation and possible coating plasticization. Calculated responses show that the model is capable of reproducing the same transient behavior exhibited in the experimental data. The theory presented can also be used for extracting viscoelasticproperties of the coating from the measured bending data.


Published version. Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 103, No. 6 (2008). DOI. © 2008 American Institute of Physics. Used with permission.