Abstract for the Fourth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.

Microsensors based on Tunneling Displacement Transducers

T.W. Kenny (a) J.K. Reynolds (b) J. Grade (c) C.H. Liu (d) A.Barzilai (e) A. Partridge

Silicon micromachining has enabled the fabrication of miniature sensors for detection of pressure, acceleration, and other signals. These sensors are primarily used for detection of large signals (car crashes, for example). Detection of small signals is generally more difficult with a small sensor unless the measurement technique is carefully chosen.

Our group has developed a class of micromachined sensors which utilize tunneling displacement transducers to detect the relative motion of micromechanical structures with milli-Angstrom resolution. The use of a tunneling transducer enables the development of state-of-the-art microaccelerometers, magnetometers, and infrared detectors.

This presentation will highlight fundamental issues and constraints for the use of tunneling transducers in microsensors, and describe several operational sensors that we have developed based on tunneling.

for additional information, please contact me directly :
Thomas Kenny
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4021 kenny@cdr.stanford.edu