Sub-ppm detection of vapors using piezoresistive microcantilever array sensors

Genki Yoshikawa, Hans Peter Lang, Terunobu Akiyama, Laure Aeschimann, Urs Staufer, Peter Vettiger, Masakazu Aono, Toshio Sakurai, Christoph Gerber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    The performance of microfabricated piezoresistive cantilever array sensors has been evaluated using various vapors of volatile organic compounds including alkanes with different chain length from 5 (n-pentane) to 14 (n-tetradecane). We demonstrate that piezoresistive microcantilever array sensors have the selectivity of discriminating individual alkanes in a homologous series as well as common volatile organic compounds according to principal component analysis. We developed a new method to evaluate the sensitivity, taking advantage of the low vapor pressures of alkanes with longer chains, such as n-dodecane, n-tridecane and n-tetradecane, under saturated vapor conditions. This method reveals sub-ppm sensitivity and the cantilever response is found to follow the mass of evaporated analytes as calculated using a quantitative model based on the Langmuir evaporation model.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number015501
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 7

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Bioengineering
    • Chemistry(all)
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Yoshikawa, G., Lang, H. P., Akiyama, T., Aeschimann, L., Staufer, U., Vettiger, P., Aono, M., Sakurai, T., & Gerber, C. (2009). Sub-ppm detection of vapors using piezoresistive microcantilever array sensors. Nanotechnology, 20(1), [015501].