Format of Original
Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Original Item ID
At the microscale, cantilever vibrations depend not only on the microstructure’s properties and geometry but also on the properties of the surrounding medium. In fact, when a microcantilever vibrates in a fluid, the fluid offers resistance to the motion of the beam. The study of the influence of the hydrodynamic force on the microcantilever’s vibrational spectrum can be used to either (1) optimize the use of microcantilevers for chemical detection in liquid media or (2) extract the mechanical properties of the fluid. The classical method for application (1) in gas is to operate the microcantilever in the dynamic transverse bending mode for chemical detection. However, the performance of microcantilevers excited in this standard out-of-plane dynamic mode drastically decreases in viscous liquid media. When immersed in liquids, in order to limit the decrease of both the resonant frequency and the quality factor, and improve sensitivity in sensing applications, alternative vibration modes that primarily shear the fluid (rather than involving motion normal to the fluid/beam interface) have been studied and tested: these include in-plane vibration modes (lateral bending mode and elongation mode). For application (2), the classical method to measure the rheological properties of fluids is to use a rheometer. However, such systems require sampling (no in-situ measurements) and a relatively large sample volume (a few milliliters). Moreover, the frequency range is limited to low frequencies (less than 200Hz). To overcome the limitations of this classical method, an alternative method based on the use of silicon microcantilevers is presented. The method, which is based on the use of analytical equations for the hydrodynamic force, permits the measurement of the complex shear modulus of viscoelastic fluids over a wide frequency range.