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Proceedings Paper

All-optical micromechanical chemical sensors
Author(s): Todd H. Stievater; William S. Rabinovich; Mike S. Ferraro; J. Brad Boos; Nicolas A. Papanicolaou; Jennifer L. Stepnowski; R. Andrew McGill
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Paper Abstract

We describe experimental results from micromechanical resonators coated with chemoselective polymers that detect chemical vapors from volatile organic compounds or explosives using all-optical interrogation. The shift in the resonant frequency of a gold microbeam is read-out using photothermal actuation and microcavity interferometry. For detection of toluene vapor, response times of less than 5 seconds are achieved for vapor concentrations as low as 60 ppm. For detection of TNT vapor, concentrations as low as 10 ppb are detected in 100 seconds. An analysis of the measured frequency noise in these sensors shows that it is dominated by thermal-mechanical fluctuations at the fundamental flexural mode. Our measurements thus indicate that thermal-mechanical frequency noise is the primary intrinsic detection limit for typical resonant-frequency MEMS biosensors or chemical vapor sensors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 February 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6464, MEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications IV, 64640D (12 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.700224
Show Author Affiliations
Todd H. Stievater, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
William S. Rabinovich, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Mike S. Ferraro, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
J. Brad Boos, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Nicolas A. Papanicolaou, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Jennifer L. Stepnowski, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
R. Andrew McGill, Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6464:
MEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications IV
Srinivas A. Tadigadapa; Reza Ghodssi; Albert K. Henning, Editor(s)

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