Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
In this paper, a microelectromechanical systems cantilever sensor was designed, modeled, and fabricated to measure the photoacoustic (PA) response of gases under very low vacuum conditions. The micromachined devices were fabricated using silicon-on-insulator wafers and then tested in a custom-built, miniature, vacuum chamber during this first-ever demonstration. Terahertz radiation was amplitude modulated to excite the gas under test and perform PA molecular spectroscopy. Experimental data show a predominantly linear response that directly correlates measured cantilever deflection to PA signals. Excellent low pressure (i.e., 2-40 mTorr) methyl cyanide PA spectral data were collected resulting in a system sensitivity of 1.97 × 10 -5 cm -1 and a normalized noise equivalent absorption coefficient of 1.39 × 10 -9 cm -1 W Hz -1/2 .
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