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11 May 2009 Fabrication of a nanoscale electric field sensor
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A new nanoscale electric field sensor was developed for studying triboelectric charging in terrestrial and Martian dust devils. The sensor was fabricated using MEMS techniques, integrated at the system level, and deployed during a dust devil field campaign. The two-terminal piezoresistive sensor consists of a micron-scale network of suspended singlewalled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) that are mechanically coupled to a free-standing electrically conductor. Electrostatic coupling of the conductor to the electric field is expected to produce a deflection of the conductor and a corresponding change in nanotube device resistance, based on the known piezoresistive properties of SWCNTs. The projected device performance will allow measurement of the large electric fields for large dust devils without saturation. With dimensions on the 100 μm scale and power consumption of only tens of nW, the sensor features dramatically reduced mass, power, and footprint. Recent field testing of the sensor demonstrated the robustness of suspended SWCNT devices to temperature fluctuations, mechanical shock, dust, and other environmental factors.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Yun Zheng, Todd King, Daniel Stewart, and Stephanie Getty "Fabrication of a nanoscale electric field sensor", Proc. SPIE 7318, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications, 731815 (11 May 2009);

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