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Current diamagnetic levitation setups with permanent magnets can realize a levitation height of about 3 mm at maximum. Certain sensor applications in the field of nano/micro-force sensing could benefit from a further increase in levitation height considering sensing range and vacuum encapsulation. This paper demonstrates the feasibility of a levitation height of 12 mm in a weight compensated diamagnetic levitation system with permanent magnets. The achieved levitation height outstands the levitation height of existing systems by the factor four to ten. Possible applications for the presented setup are highly sensitive sensor systems like accelerometers, seismometers, torque meters, force meters or tilt meters. Due to the high levitation gap the floating specimen can be encapsulated into vacuum independently from the surrounding magnets and measurement equipment. Air friction losses and damping can be eliminated in this way. Furthermore, sensing travel could be increased letting to higher measurement ranges.
Date of Publication: June 2012