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Design and Characterization of Artificial Haircell Sensor for Flow Sensing With Ultrahigh Velocity and Angular Sensitivity

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6 Author(s)
Nannan Chen ; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign ; Tucker, C. ; Engel, J.M. ; Yingchen Yang
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We report the development of an artificial hair cell (AHC) sensor with design inspired by biological hair cells. The sensor consists of a silicon cantilever beam with a high-aspect-ratio cilium attached at the distal end. Sensing is based on silicon piezoresistive strain gauge at the base of the cantilever. The cilium is made of photodefinable SU-8 epoxy and can be up to 700-mum tall. In this paper, we focus on flow-sensing applications. We have characterized the performance of the AHC sensor both in water and in air. For underwater applications, we have characterized the sensor under two flow conditions: steady-state laminar flow (dc flow) and oscillatory flow (ac flow). The detection limit of the sensor under ac flow in water is experimentally established to be below 1 mm/s. A best case angular resolution of 2.16deg is also achieved for the sensor's yaw response in air.

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Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 5 )