Navigation Links
Clemson researchers advance nanoscale electromechanical sensors
Date:12/23/2008

CLEMSON Clemson physics professor Apparao Rao and his team are researching nano-scale cantilevers that have the potential to read and alert us to toxic chemicals or gases in the air. Put them into a small handheld device and the potential is there for real-time chemical alerts in battle, in industry, in health care and even at home.

"The ability to build extremely small devices to do this work has been something we've only seen so far in science-fiction movies," Rao said.

The width of a human hair or smaller, the micro- and nano-scale cantilevers look like tiny diving boards under an electron microscope. The researchers have advanced the method of oscillating cantilevers that vibrate much like a guitar string and measure amplitude and frequency under different conditions, creating highly reliable sensors that can relay a message that there's trouble in the air.

"The current way of sensing involves an optical method that uses a relatively bulky and expensive laser beam that doesn't translate well to use in nano-scale cantilevers. Our method is fully electrical and uses a small AC voltage to vibrate the cantilever and simple electronics to detect any changes in the vibration caused by gaseous chemical or biological agents," Rao said. "This method enables the development of handheld devices that would beep or flash as they read gas and chemical levels on site."

The potential applications are varied, he said. In addition to simultaneously reading multiple kinds of toxins in the environment, these electromechanical sensors have been shown to measure changes in humidity and temperature.

Preliminary results indicate that this fully electrical sensing scheme is so sensitive that it can differentiate between hydrogen and deuterium gas, very similar isotopes of the same element. Since the whole process is electrical, the size limitations that plague competing detection methods are not a problem here. The cantilevers can be shrunk down to the nano-scale and the operating electronics can be contained on a single tiny chip. Rao's research has shown that a single carbon nanotube can be used as a vibrating cantilever.

Rao credits Clemson Professor Emeritus of Physics Malcolm Skove, who discovered that measuring the resonant frequency of a cantilever at the second or higher harmonies would get rid of the so-called parasitic capacitance, an unwanted background that obscures the signal and has been a major stumbling block to the advancement of similar technology.

"When we operate at these higher harmonics of the resonant frequency, we get extremely clean signals. It makes a tremendous difference, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology is interested in promoting the Clemson method as one of the standard methods for measuring the stiffness of cantilevered beams," said Rao.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Polowczuk
spolowc@clemson.edu
864-656-2063
Clemson University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Clemson researchers advance nanoscale electromechanical sensors
2. Nikon Instruments Provides Donation to Help Clemson University Start New Core Microscopy Facility
3. Clemson scientists put a (nano) spring in their step
4. Clemson researcher studies carbon fibers for nuclear reactor safety
5. Duke researchers coax bright white light from unexpected source
6. Pitt researchers create nontoxic clean-up method for potentially toxic nano materials
7. USC researchers print dense lattice of transparent nanotube transistors on flexible base
8. J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers Publish Significant Advance in Genome Assembly Technology
9. Virginia Tech researchers discover how mosquitoes avoid succumbing to viruses they transmit
10. Alfred Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering Launches New Web Site Designed to Help University Researchers Bring Biomedical Advances to Market
11. 2010 Japan Prize to Honor Scientists and Researchers in Industrial Production/Production Technology and Biological Production/Environment Fields
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... , ... StarNet Communications Corp, ( http://www.starnet.com/ ) a leading publisher of remote ... modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 ... PC over encrypted SSH. , Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... personalized pain medicine, is excited to announce the launch of the Proove ... health studies, volunteerism, and education to promote the use of personalized medicine for ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Denver, CO (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 ... ... on addressing the necessary fundamentals to transform technology into a viable company, CereScan’s ... enable growth. Mr. Kelley, a recognized leader and mentor in the Denver ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Italy , April 29, 2016 ... 5.11, the latest update to its industry-leading treatment planning ... shown that Monaco version 5.11 ... can now attain calculation speeds up to four times ... . With the industry,s gold standard ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/14/2016)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... the airing of a new series of commercials on Time ... 21 st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg TV, ... the Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... market, announces the airing of a new series of commercials ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... , March 10, 2016 ... market research report "Identity and Access Management Market by ... Compliance, and Governance), by Organization Size, by Deployment, by ... published by MarketsandMarkets, The market is estimated to grow ... Billion by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... , March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ® ... and enrollment solutions, today announced the addition of ... Altus multi-factor authentication platform. New contextual ... managers to step-up security where it,s needed most ... Washington, DC . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):