Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Cagri A Savran

Committee Member 1

Babak Ziaie

Committee Member 2

Galen B King

Committee Member 3

Jeffrey F Rhoads


Over the past decade, MEMS-based cantilever sensors have been widely used in the detection of biomolecules, environmental pollutants, chemicals and pathogens. Cantilever-based sensors rely on attachment of target entities on their surface. The attachment causes either change in surface stress or resonance frequency of the cantilever, which is detected using various schemes that range from optical to piezoelectric. The majority of these sensors rely on probabilistic attachment of multiple target entities to the sensor surface. This introduces uncertainties since the location of the adsorbed target entity can modify the signal generated by the sensor. In addition, it does not allow the measurement of individually selected target entities. The goal of this dissertation is to exploit the cantilever-based sensors' mass sensing capability to develop a "supermarket weight scale" for the micro world: a scheme that can enable the user to pick an individual target entity and weigh only that particular entity by precisely positioning it on a micro- weight scale.