Numerical Modeling and Experimental Validation by Calorimetric Detection of Energetic Materials Using Thermal Bimorph Microcantilever Array: A Case Study on Sensing Vapors of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
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Bi-layer (Au-Si₃N₄) microcantilevers fabricated in an array were used to detect vapors of energetic materials such as explosives under ambient conditions. The changes in the bending response of each thermal bimorph (i.e., microcantilever) with changes in actuation currents were experimentally monitored by measuring the angle of the reflected ray from a laser source used to illuminate the gold nanocoating on the surface of silicon nitride microcantilevers in the absence and presence of a designated combustible species. Experiments were performed to determine the signature response of this nano-calorimeter platform for each explosive material considered for this study. Numerical modeling was performed to predict the bending response of the microcantilevers for various explosive materials, species concentrations, and actuation currents. The experimental validation of the numerical predictions demonstrated that in the presence of different explosive or combustible materials, the microcantilevers exhibited unique trends in their bending responses with increasing values of the actuation current.
author list (cited authors)
Kang, S., Fragala, J., & Banerjee, D.