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Capacitively readout multi-element sensor array with common-mode cancellation

United States Patent

January 2, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
An improved multi-element apparatus for detecting the presence of at least one chemical, biological or physical component in a monitored area comprising an array or single set of the following elements: a capacitive transducer having at least one cantilever spring element secured thereto, the cantilever element having an area thereof coated with a chemical having an affinity for the component to be detected; a pick-up plate positioned adjacent to the cantilever element at a distance such that a capacitance between the cantilever element and the pick-up plate changes as the distance between the cantilever element and the pick-up plate varies, the change in capacitance being a measurable variation; a detection means for measuring the measurable variation in the capacitance between the cantilever element and the pick-up plate that forms a measurement channel signal; and at least one feedback cantilever spring element positioned apart from the coated cantilever element, the cantilever element substantially unaffected by the component being monitored and providing a reference channel signal to the detection means that achieves a common mode cancellation between the measurement channel signal and reference channel signal.
Britton, Jr.; Charles L. (Alcoa, TN), Warmack; Robert J. (Knoxville, TN), Bryan; William L. (Knoxville, TN), Jones; Robert L. (Decatur, TN), Oden; Patrick Ian (Knoxville, TN), Thundat; Thomas (Knoxville, TN)
Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation (Oak Ridge, TN), University of Tennessee Research Corporation (Knoxville, TN)
09/ 144,309
August 31, 1998
This invention was made with Government support under contract DE-AC05-96OR22464 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation, Inc. and the Government has certain rights in this invention.