Microcantilever mechanics in flowing viscous fluids
Date of this VersionMarch 2007
APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 90, 114110
This document has been peer-reviewed.
Microcantilevers are often deployed in flowing fluids to measure local flow velocities or to detect rapidly the nanomechanical binding of trace quantities of target analytes. The authors investigate the flow-induced mechanics of microcantilevers by deriving a semianalytical theoretical model for the nanoscale deflections of an elastic microcantilever due to a laminar viscous flow incident upon it. Conversely, the model allows for the estimation of the local flow velocities based on measured microcantilever deflection. Careful experiments performed on silicon microcantilevers in flowing nitrogen confirm the theoretical predictions up to a critical flow rate, beyond which unsteady flow-induced vibrations are seen to occur.