22 May 2007 Biomimetic micromechanical adaptive flow-sensor arrays
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Abstract
We report current developments in biomimetic flow-sensors based on flow sensitive mechano-sensors of crickets. Crickets have one form of acoustic sensing evolved in the form of mechanoreceptive sensory hairs. These filiform hairs are highly perceptive to low-frequency sound with energy sensitivities close to thermal threshold. In this work we describe hair-sensors fabricated by a combination of sacrificial poly-silicon technology, to form silicon-nitride suspended membranes, and SU8 polymer processing for fabrication of hairs with diameters of about 50 &mgr;m and up to 1 mm length. The membranes have thin chromium electrodes on top forming variable capacitors with the substrate that allow for capacitive read-out. Previously these sensors have been shown to exhibit acoustic sensitivity. Like for the crickets, the MEMS hair-sensors are positioned on elongated structures, resembling the cercus of crickets. In this work we present optical measurements on acoustically and electrostatically excited hair-sensors. We present adaptive control of flow-sensitivity and resonance frequency by electrostatic spring stiffness softening. Experimental data and simple analytical models derived from transduction theory are shown to exhibit good correspondence, both confirming theory and the applicability of the presented approach towards adaptation.
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Gijs Krijnen, Arjan Floris, Marcel Dijkstra, Theo Lammerink, Remco Wiegerink, "Biomimetic micromechanical adaptive flow-sensor arrays", Proc. SPIE 6592, Bioengineered and Bioinspired Systems III, 65920F (22 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.721807; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.721807
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