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A novel optical waveguide microcantilever sensor for the detection of nanomechanical forces

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5 Author(s)
Zinoviev, K. ; Centro Nacional de Microelectron., Campus Univ. Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain ; Dominguez, C. ; Plaza, J.A. ; Busto, V.J.C.
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This study presents a novel generic multipurpose probe based on an array of 20 waveguide channels with microcantilevers acting as optical waveguides operated in the visible range. The principle of operation is based on the sensitivity of energy transfer between two butt-coupled waveguides to their misalignment with respect to each other. The technique can be considered an alternative to the known methods used for the readout of the nanomechanical response of microcantilevers to the external force exerted on them. The cantilever displacement can be detected with a resolution of 18 fm/√Hz. The limit is generally defined by the shot noise of a conventional photodetector used for the readout of the output signal. Real-time parallel monitoring of several channels can be realized. In contrast to devices based on the atomic force microscope detection principle, no preliminary alignment or adjustment, except for light coupling, is required. The detection of the cantilever deflection at subnanometer range was demonstrated experimentally.

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Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 5 )