A recently developed microcantilever probe with integrated piezoresistive readout has been applied as a gas sensor. Resistors, sensitive to stress changes, are integrated on the flexible cantilevers. This makes it possible to monitor the cantilever deflection electrically and with an integrated reference cantilever background noise is subtracted directly in the measurement. A polymer coated cantilever has been exposed to vapors of various alcohols and the resulting cantilever response has been interpreted using a simple evaporation model. The model indicates that the cantilever response is a direct measure of the molecular concentration of alcohol vapor. On the basis of the model the detection limit of this cantilever-based sensor is determined to be below 10 ppm for alcohol vapor measurements. Furthermore, the time response of the cantilever can be used to distinguish between different alcohols due to a difference in the evaporation rates. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics.
Bibliographical noteCopyright (2000) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.
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