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Review of Scientific Instruments

Issue 6 • Date Jun 2009

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 48
  • High spatial resolution confocal microscope with independent excitation and detection scanning capabilities

    Page(s): 063101 - 063101-5
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    We present the design of a confocal microscope adapted for optical spectroscopy and imaging at cryogenic temperatures. This system is based on the existing approach of partly inserting the optical components of the microscope inside a helium-bath cryostat. It provides a spatial resolution approaching the diffraction limit with a mechanical stability allowing uninterrupted integration times exceeding 10 h and allows keeping track of a single emitter for unlimited periods of time. Furthermore, our design allows scanning the excitation spot and detection area independently of the sample position. This feature provides the means to perform probeless transport experiments on one-dimensional nanostructures. The scanning capabilities of this microscope are fully detailed and characterized using the photoluminescence of single nitrogen dyads at 4.5 K. View full abstract»

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  • A methodology for improving laser beam induced current images of dye sensitized solar cells

    Page(s): 063102 - 063102-7
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    Using the laser beam induced current (LBIC) technique for the study of solar cells and photovoltaic devices, it is possible to obtain images representing the different degrees of quantum efficiency observed on the surface of these elements. Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) or photoelectrochemical solar cells, in contrast to those based on solid-solid interfaces, show a slow response to irradiance variations—up to tens of seconds. This is basically due to both viscous matter transport processes and load transfer. This response is inappreciable when the device is functioning continuously but when a LBIC scan is performed, in which the laser moves quickly from one point to another, the slow response produces a memory effect and the signal generated at one given point depends on the conversion efficiency coefficients of the previously excited positions, resulting in diffuse images and a lack of sharpness. This work presents a methodology to correct high-resolution LBIC mappings of DSSCs using an algorithm based on the kinetics of the discharge process of the irradiated zone. The validity of the proposed method has been evaluated by carrying out experiments where the algorithm has been applied to LBIC mappings. View full abstract»

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  • High-resolution, high-transmission soft x-ray spectrometer for the study of biological samples

    Page(s): 063103 - 063103-7
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    We present a variable line-space grating spectrometer for soft x-rays that covers the photon energy range between 130 and 650 eV. The optical design is based on the Hettrick–Underwood principle and tailored to synchrotron-based studies of radiation-sensitive biological samples. The spectrometer is able to record the entire spectral range in one shot, i.e., without any mechanical motion, at a resolving power of 1200 or better. Despite its slitless design, such a resolving power can be achieved for a source spot as large as (30×3000) μm2, which is important for keeping beam damage effects in radiation-sensitive samples low. The high spectrometer efficiency allows recording of comprehensive two-dimensional resonant inelastic soft x-ray scattering (RIXS) maps with good statistics within several minutes. This is exemplarily demonstrated for a RIXS map of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite, which was taken within 10 min. View full abstract»

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  • NIF unconverted light and its influence on DANTE measurements

    Page(s): 063104 - 063104-7
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    NIF laser facility produces 1053 nm light and a fundamental requirement for NIF is to give up to 1.8 MJ of 351 nm light for target physics experiments. The 351 nm light is provided by frequency tripling the 1053 nm light in nonlinear crystals in the final optics assembly, just before the laser light enters the target chamber. Since this tripling process is not 100% efficient, unconverted light from the conversion process also enters the chamber. This unconverted light does not directly hit the target but it can strike target support structures at average intensities of few TW/cm2 where it can generate unwanted, background soft x-rays that are measured by the soft x-ray diagnostic DANTE installed on the NIF target chamber. This diagnostic quantifies the x-radiation intensity inside the hohlraum by measuring the x-ray flux coming from the target’s laser entrance hole. Due to its centimeter wide field of view, it integrates x-ray emission from both the flux exiting a hohlraum laser entrance hole and from the target support structure irradiated by residual and unconverted light. This work gives quantitative evaluations of the unconverted light for the first time and the effects on DANTE measurements for the future NIF tuning experiment called “Shock timing.” Emission spectra are significantly modified leading to an overestimation of radiative temperature during the foot of the laser pulse since background x-rays are predominant in first two DANTE channel measurements. Mitigations of these effects by coating silicon paddle with plastic, using a smaller collimator to reduce DANTE field of view or eliminating DANTE channels in the analysis have been investigated. View full abstract»

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  • Near-infrared photon time-of-flight spectroscopy of turbid materials up to 1400 nm

    Page(s): 063105 - 063105-3
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    Photon time-of-flight spectroscopy (PTOFS) is a powerful tool for analysis of turbid materials. We have constructed a time-of-flight spectrometer based on a supercontinuum fiber laser, acousto-optical tunable filtering, and an InP/InGaAsP microchannel plate photomultiplier tube. The system is capable of performing PTOFS up to 1400 nm, and thus covers an important region for vibrational spectroscopy of solid samples. The development significantly increases the applicability of PTOFS for analysis of chemical content and physical properties of turbid media. The great value of the proposed approach is illustrated by revealing the distinct absorption features of turbid epoxy resin. Promising future applications of the approach are discussed, including quantitative assessment of pharmaceuticals, powder analysis, and calibration-free near-infrared spectroscopy. View full abstract»

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  • Investigation of spectra unfolded for a filtered x-ray diode array with improved smoothness

    Page(s): 063106 - 063106-5
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    An unfolding algorithm using parabolic B-splines to smoothly reconstruct the soft x-ray spectra from the measurements of a filtered x-ray diode array is proposed. This array has been fabricated for the study of the soft x ray emitted by Z-pinch plasma. Unfolding results show that for the simulated noise-free blackbody spectra with temperature ranging from 20 to 250 eV, both the spectra and the total power are accurately recovered. Typical experimental waveforms along with the unfolded spectra and total power of x rays are presented. Possible defects due to the adoption of parabolic B-splines instead of conventionally used histograms are discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Three-axis rapid steering of optically propelled micro/nanoparticles

    Page(s): 063107 - 063107-8
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    This paper presents the design and implementation of a three-axis steering system, wherein a micro/nanoparticle is optically trapped and propelled to serve as a measurement probe. The actuators in the system consist of a deformable mirror enabling axial steering and a two-axis acousto-optic deflector for lateral steering. The actuation range is designed and calibrated to be over 20 μm along the two lateral axes and over 10 μm along the axial direction. The actuation bandwidth of the two lateral axes is over 50 kHz and the associated resolution is 0.016 nm (1σ). The axial resolution is 0.16 nm, while the bandwidth is enhanced to over 3 kHz by model cancellation method. The performance of the three-axis steering system is illustrated by three sets of experiments. First, active Brownian motion control of the trapped probe is utilized to enhance trapping stability. Second, a large range three-dimensional (3D) steering of a 1.87 μm probe, contouring a complex 3D trajectory in a 6×6×4 μm3 volume, is demonstrated. Third, a closed-loop steering is implemented to achieve improved precision. View full abstract»

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  • A compact electron beam ion source with integrated Wien filter providing mass and charge state separated beams of highly charged ions

    Page(s): 063301 - 063301-6
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    A Wien filter was designed for and tested with a room temperature electron beam ion source (EBIS). Xenon charge state spectra up to the charge state Xe46+ were resolved as well as the isotopes of krypton using apertures of different sizes. The complete setup consisting of an EBIS and a Wien filter has a length of less than 1 m substituting a complete classical beamline setup. The Wien filter is equipped with removable permanent magnets. Hence total beam current measurements are possible via simple removal of the permanent magnets. In dependence on the needs of resolution a weak (0.2 T) or a strong (0.5 T) magnets setup can be used. In this paper the principle of operation and the design of the Wien filter meeting the requirements of an EBIS are briefly discussed. The first ion beam extraction and separation experiments with a Dresden EBIS are presented. View full abstract»

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  • Electron spectroscopy using two-dimensional electron detection and a camera in a single electron counting mode

    Page(s): 063302 - 063302-6
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    A brief description is given of an economical implementation of the read out of a two-dimensional detector in an electron spectrometer by a charge coupled device camera, using a pulse counting mode. Count rates up to 10 kHz can be handled in this way. A comparison with results obtained using a resistive anode detector is given for the case of electron scattering from Xe atoms. Good agreement was obtained between both detection techniques, establishing the validity of the method described here. View full abstract»

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  • A time-gating scintillation detector for the measurement of laser-induced fast neutrons

    Page(s): 063303 - 063303-5
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    A time-gating scintillation detector, in which a fast high voltage switch is used for gating a channel photomultiplier, was developed for a measurement of laser-induced fast neutrons. The x rays generated from the intense femtosecond laser and the solid target interactions were suppressed selectively and a time-of-flight signal of a laser-generated fast neutron was measured effectively. The detector was used successfully to measure the neutron yield of a femtosecond, deuterated, polystyrene plasma. View full abstract»

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  • Production and ion-ion cooling of highly charged ions in electron string ion source

    Page(s): 063304 - 063304-4
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    The scheme of an internal injection of Au atoms into the working space of the “Krion-2” electron string ion source (ESIS) was applied and tested. In this scheme Au atoms are evaporated from the thin tungsten wire surface in vicinity of the source electron string. Ion beams with charge states up to Au51+ were produced. Ion-ion cooling with use of C and O coolant ions was studied. It allowed increasing of the Au51+ ion yield by a factor of 2. Ions of Kr up to charge state 28+ were also produced in the source. Electron strings were first formed with injection electron energy up to 6 keV. Methods to increase the ESIS ion output are discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Digital ratemeter with fast response

    Page(s): 063501 - 063501-3
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    Digital ratemeter that operates according to a self-adjusting algorithm, which at low rates automatically switches from a preset count to the preset time method, is proposed. It combines the good properties of both methods concerning the accuracy of the measured average counting rate and the response time to sudden changes of rate. View full abstract»

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  • Method for analyzing E×B probe spectra from Hall thruster plumes

    Page(s): 063502 - 063502-11
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    Various methods for accurately determining ion species’ current fractions using E×B probes in Hall thruster plumes are investigated. The effects of peak broadening and charge exchange on the calculated values of current fractions are quantified in order to determine the importance of accounting for them in the analysis. It is shown that both peak broadening and charge exchange have a significant effect on the calculated current fractions over a variety of operating conditions, especially at operating pressures exceeding 10-5 torr. However, these effects can be accounted for using a simple approximation for the velocity distribution function and a one-dimensional charge exchange correction model. In order to keep plume attenuation from charge exchange below 30%, it is recommended that pz≤2, where p is the measured facility pressure in units of 10-5 torr and z is the distance from the thruster exit plane to the probe inlet in meters. The spatial variation of the current fractions in the plume of a Hall thruster and the error induced from taking a single-point measurement are also briefly discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Generation of Mie size microdroplet aerosols with applications in laser-driven fusion experiments

    Page(s): 063503 - 063503-5
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    We have developed a tunable source of Mie scale microdroplet aerosols that can be used for the generation of energetic ions. To demonstrate this potential, a terawatt Ti:Al2O3 laser focused to 2×1019 W/cm2 was used to irradiate heavy water (D2O) aerosols composed of micron-scale droplets. Energetic deuterium ions, which were generated in the laser-droplet interaction, produced deuterium-deuterium fusion with approximately 2×103 fusion neutrons measured per joule of incident laser energy. View full abstract»

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  • Real-time data processing and magnetic field pitch angle estimation of the JET motional Stark effect diagnostic based on Kalman filtering

    Page(s): 063504 - 063504-5
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    A novel technique for the real-time measurement of the magnetic field pitch angle in JET discharges using the motional Stark effect diagnostic is presented. Kalman filtering techniques are adopted to estimate the amplitude of the avalanche photodiode signals’ harmonics that are relevant for the pitch angle calculation. The proposed technique {for extended technical details of the generic algorithm see [R. Coelho and D. Alves, IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. 37, 164 (2009)]} is shown to be much more robust and provides less noisy estimates than an equivalent lock-in amplifier scheme, in particular when dealing with edge localized modes. View full abstract»

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  • Gain stabilization control system of the upgraded magnetic proton recoil neutron spectrometer at JET

    Page(s): 063505 - 063505-9
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    Burning plasma experiments such as ITER and DEMO require diagnostics capable of withstanding the harsh environment generated by the intense neutron flux and to maintain stable operating conditions for times longer than present day systems. For these reasons, advanced control and monitoring (CM) systems will be necessary for the reliable operation of diagnostics. This paper describes the CM system of the upgraded magnetic proton recoil neutron spectrometer installed at the Joint European Torus focusing in particular on a technique for the stabilization of the gain of the photomultipliers coupled to the neutron detectors. The results presented here show that this technique provides good results over long time scales. The technique is of general interest for all diagnostics that employ scintillators coupled to photomultiplier tubes. View full abstract»

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  • Systematic comparison between line integrated densities measured with interferometry and polarimetry at JET

    Page(s): 063506 - 063506-7
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    A systematic comparison between the line integrated electron density derived from interferometry and polarimetry at JET has been carried out. For the first time the reliability of the measurements of the Cotton–Mouton effect has been analyzed for a wide range of main plasma parameters and the possibility to evaluate the electron density directly from polarimetric data has been studied. The purpose of this work is to recover the interferometric data with the density derived from the measured Cotton–Mouton effect, when the fringe jump phenomena occur. The results show that the difference between the line integrated electron density from interferometry and polarimetry is with one fringe (1.143×1019 m-2) for more than 90% of the cases. It is possible to consider polarimetry as a satisfactory alternative method to interferometry to measure the electron density and it could be used to recover interferometric signal when a fringe jumps occurs, preventing difficulties for the real-time control of many experiments at the JET machine. View full abstract»

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  • State feedback control for adjusting the dynamic behavior of a piezoactuated bimorph atomic force microscopy probe

    Page(s): 063701 - 063701-7
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    We adjust the transient dynamics of a piezoactuated bimorph atomic force microscopy (AFM) probe using a state feedback controller. This approach enables us to adjust the quality factor and the resonance frequency of the probe simultaneously. First, we first investigate the effect of feedback gains on dynamic response of the probe and then show that the time constant of the probe can be reduced by reducing its quality factor and/or increasing its resonance frequency to reduce the scan error in tapping mode AFM. View full abstract»

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  • A passive long-wavelength infrared microscope with a highly sensitive phototransistor

    Page(s): 063702 - 063702-4
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    A passive scanning confocal microscope in the long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) region has been developed for sensitive imaging of spontaneous LWIR radiation by utilizing an ultrahighly sensitive detector, called the charge-sensitive infrared phototransistor (CSIP). The microscope consisted of room-temperature components including a Ge objective lens and liquid helium temperature components including a confocal pinhole, Ge relay lenses, and CSIP detector. With the microscope, thermal radiation (wavelength of 14.7 μm) spontaneously emitted by the object was studied with a spatial resolution of 25 μm. Clear passive LWIR imaging pictures were obtained by scanning a sample consisting of glass, Al foil, Ag paste, and Au. Clear passive LWIR image was also obtained even when the sample surface was covered by a GaAs or Si plate. This work suggests usefulness of CSIP detectors for application of passive LWIR microscopy. View full abstract»

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  • Concept for support and cleavage of brittle crystals

    Page(s): 063703 - 063703-4
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    We report on sample holders for crystals to be cleaved for the preparation of surfaces with large atomically flat terraces. The concept for mounting sample crystals is based on a vicelike clamping mechanism to securely hold the crystal in position while reducing the risk of fragmentation. Sample holders based on this concept and made of suitable materials allow preparation and cleavage of crystals in the ultrahigh vacuum at high or low temperatures. To cleave the crystal, we employ a scalpel blade mounted on a wobble stick to generate a highly localized stress field initiating the cleavage process. The sample holders are used for experiments of highest resolution scanning force microscopy, however, the concept can be transferred to any other system where cleavage faces of crystals are of interest. Exemplarily, scanning force microscopy results demonstrate that (111) cleavage faces of CaF2 crystals can be prepared with steps only a few F–Ca–F triple-layers high and atomically flat terraces extending over areas of several μm2. View full abstract»

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  • Ultrastable combined atomic force and total internal fluorescence microscope

    Page(s): 063704 - 063704-5
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    Combining atomic force microscope (AFM) with other microscopy techniques has expanded the range of potential applications for single molecule investigations dramatically. Particularly hybrid instruments with total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) excitation have opened new routes in life sciences. Here we present a novel design for such a hybrid microscope, which overcomes the limitations of conventional combinations caused by their limited mechanical stability. A thorough analysis of the noise spectra and a comparison of the different designs and the different operation modes are given. With this instrument we demonstrate single molecule manipulation by AFM and simultaneous TIRF imaging. View full abstract»

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  • Making a commercial atomic force microscope more accurate and faster using positive position feedback control

    Page(s): 063705 - 063705-8
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    This paper presents experimental implementation of a positive position feedback (PPF) control scheme for vibration and cross-coupling compensation of a piezoelectric tube scanner in a commercial atomic force microscope (AFM). The AFM is a device capable of generating images with extremely high resolutions down to the atomic level. It is also being used in applications that involve manipulation of matter at a nanoscale. Early AFMs were operated in open loop. Consequently, they were susceptible to piezoelectric creep, thermal drift, hysteresis nonlinearity, and scan-induced vibration. These effects tend to distort the generated image and slow down the scanning speed of the device. Recently, a new generation of AFMs has emerged that utilizes position sensors to measure displacements of the scanner in three dimensions. These AFMs are equipped with feedback control loops that work to minimize the adverse effects of hysteresis, piezoelectric creep, and thermal drift on the obtained image using proportional-plus-integral (PI) controllers. These feedback controllers are often not designed to deal with the highly resonant nature of an AFM’s scanner nor with the cross coupling between various axes. In this paper we illustrate the improvement in accuracy and imaging speed that can be achieved by using a properly designed feedback controller such as a PPF controller. Such controllers can be incorporated into most modern AFMs with minimal effort since they can be implemented in software with the existing hardware. Experimental results show that by implementing the PPF control scheme, relatively good images in comparison with a well-tuned PI controller can still be obtained up to line scan of 60 Hz. View full abstract»

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  • Thin film nanocalorimeter for heat capacity measurements of 30 nm films

    Page(s): 063901 - 063901-7
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    A silicon nitride membrane-based nanocalorimeter is described for measuring the heat capacity of 30 nm films from 300 mK to 800 K and in high magnetic fields with absolute accuracy ∼2%. The addenda heat capacity of the nanocalorimeter is less than 2×10-7 J/K at room temperature and 2×10-10 J/K at 2.3 K. This is more than ten times smaller than any existing calorimeter suitable for measuring thin films over this wide temperature range. The heat capacities of thin Cu and Au films are reported and agree with bulk values. The thermal conductivity of the thin low stress silicon nitride is substantially smaller than thicker membranes while the specific heat is enhanced below 20 K. Design of the nanocalorimeter will be discussed along with fabrication details and calibration results. View full abstract»

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  • Diagnoses of coaxial probes in shock compression

    Page(s): 063902 - 063902-5
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    A miniature diagnostic apparatus, which consists of a target, a guiding tube, a nail-gun, and a simple base, has been developed in the proposed research to estimate batches of pinlike coaxial probes with selectable collision speeds, 198.3, 361.0, and 420.6 mps, corresponding to thrust capabilities of certain minibullets. This work aims at filling the gap between typical two stage light gas gun (≫500 mps) and pendulum machine (≪100 mps) with low cost and risk in realistic shock compressions. As a part of the experiment, the κ coefficient and the statistical agreement and reliability are all evaluated. View full abstract»

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  • Cancellation of environmental effects in resonant mass sensors based on resonance mode and effective mass

    Page(s): 063903 - 063903-8
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    A novel technique is developed to cancel the effect of environmental parameters, e.g., temperature and humidity, in resonant mass sensing. Utilizing a single resonator, the environmental cancellation is achieved by monitoring a pair of resonant overtones and the effective sensed mass in those overtones. As an eminent advantage, especially compared to dual-mode temperature compensation techniques, the presented technique eliminates any need for previously measured look-up tables or fitting the measurement data. We show that a resonant cantilever beam is an appropriate platform for applying this technique, and derive an analytical expression to relate the actual and effective sensed masses on a cantilever beam. Thereby, it is shown that in applying the presented technique successfully, the effective sensed masses must not be the same in the investigated pair of resonance overtones. To prove the feasibility of the proposed technique, flexural resonance frequencies of a silicon cantilever are measured before and after loading with a strip of photoresist. Applying the presented technique shows significant reductions in influence of environmental parameters, with the temperature and humidity coefficients of frequency being improved from -19.5 to 0.2 ppm °C-1 and from 0.7 to -0.03 ppm %RH-1, respectively. View full abstract»

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Review of Scientific Instruments, published by the American Institute of Physics, is devoted to scientific instruments, apparatus, and techniques.

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Albert T. Macrander
Argonne National Laboratory