Determination of adsorption-induced variation in the spring constant of a microcantilever

Cherian, Suman; Thundat, Thomas
March 2002
Applied Physics Letters;3/25/2002, Vol. 80 Issue 12, p2219
Academic Journal
Although resonating microcantilevers are demonstrated to be excellent mass sensors, adsorption-induced changes in the spring constant result in errors in the calculation of adsorbed mass from shifts in resonance frequencies. However, simultaneous measurement of resonance frequency and adsorption-induced cantilever bending can be used to determine the variation in spring constant. Plotting the change in surface stress as a function of analyte concentration, the surface excess of adsorbed molecules and, therefore, the mass adsorbed can be determined. Here, we demonstrate this concept for adsorption of Na[sup +] ions on microcantilevers in NaCl solutions where a change in the spring constant was found to increase from 9.5 x 10[sup -4] to 7.5 x 10[sup -3] N/m as the NaCl concentration increased from 0.05 to 0.8 M.


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