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Nanocantilever array chips with electrical output

The result is one or several silicon chips, which include an array of piezoresistive cantilevers. These cantilevers have submicron thickness, a length between 100 and 300 micrometers and lateral dimensions in the range one to ten micrometers. The cantilevers are connected in a Wheatstone bridge or a half-bridge configuration and can provide an electrical voltage output proportional to the differential deflection between cantilevers.

The cantilever structures, with a flat tip, are suitable for the measurement of intermolecular forces when binding is achieved between a functionalised cantilever and a differently functionalised surface.

Modified piezoresistive cantilevers with sharp tips can be used for AFM applications in suitably adapted AFM instruments.

Fabrication of cantilevers with on-chip integrated CMOS amplifier circuits has also been demonstrated.

Devices such as those described are not commercially available. The flat tip cantilever devices are intended for in vitro diagnostics in healthcare, and may allow developing instruments for near-patient testing, such as the high-sensitivity instrument defined within BioFinger. In vitro diagnostics based on low-concentration protein detection have important application scenarios in human healthcare.

The modified cantilevers with sharp tips can be used in AFM applications, and may allow developing all electrical AFM instruments.

CNM has the capability of producing small and medium quantities of nanocantilever array chips in its clean room, through its commercial spin-off company D+T Microelectrónica. If required, production can be later transferred to a commercial MEMS foundry. Nanotec can commercialise the chips for external users.

Informations connexes

Reported by

Centro Nacional de Microelectronica (IMB-CSIC)
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