Nanostructured microcantilever for the detection of volatile compounds

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Bioengineering


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering


Advisor: Karolyn Hansen


In this study, nanostructured, functionalized microcantilevers have been designed, fabricated, and characterized for the sensing of volatile organic compounds. Sensing devices were fabricated with either four or eight hammerhead-shaped cantilevers. These cantilevers vibrate laterally in-plane making them highly suitable for sensing in both air and liquid. Silicon oxide nanostructure was deposited on the cantilevers to increase the surface area and sensitivity of the devices. Molecular recognition peptides were chemically tethered to the surfaces to create a selective response for the analytes of interest. When the analytes have bound to the surface of the cantilever, a shift in resonance frequency is produced and detected by piezoresistive sensors. This frequency shift can be used to determine the mass of analyte bound to the surface. The cantilever sensors are expected to provide fast and highly sensitive detection, and can be fabricated in an array format for sensing multiple compounds in complex samples. The nanostructured cantilever sensors show strong potential for applications in medical, environmental, food safety, and hazardous gas monitoring applications.


Biosensors Design and construction, Piezoelectric polymer biosensors, Nanobiotechnology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, biosensor, sensor, microcantilever, volatile organic compound, nanostructure, glancing angle deposition

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2017, author