Design and characterization of artificial haircell sensor for flow sensing with ultrahigh velocity and angular sensitivity

Nannan Chen*, Craig Tucker, Jonathan M. Engel, Yingchen Yang, Saunvit Pandya, Chang Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the development of an artificial haircell (AHC) sensor with design inspired by biological haircells. The sensor consists of a silicon cantilever beam with a high-aspect-ratio cilium attached at the distal end. Sensing is based on silicon piezoresistive strain gauge at the base of the cantilever. The cilium is made of photodefinable SU-8 epoxy and can be up to 700-μm tall. In this paper, we focus on flow-sensing applications. We have characterized the performance of the AHC sensor both in water and in air. For underwater applications, we have characterized the sensor under two flow conditions: steady-state laminar flow (dc flow) and oscillatory flow (ac flow). The detection limit of the sensor under ac flow in water is experimentally established to be below 1 mm/s. A best case angular resolution of 2.16° is also achieved for the sensor's yaw response in air.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1014
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Microelectromechanical devices
  • Piezoresistive devices
  • Sensitivity
  • Sensory aids
  • Silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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