3-Axis Capacitance Based Force Sensor

Spring 2012

Student
Jessica Lo
Advisor
Maarten de Boer
Project description

The project objective is to design, fabricate, and develop a force sensor that has a projected force range of 10 microNewtons. Applications include being able to characterize the adhesion forces of a dust mite and bacterial propulsion forces. The force sensor has already been designed and fabricated as part of a graduate level course from a previous semester. As a part of Phase I, we will be characterizing these micro-machined parts (for example, studying the curvature of the probe with the interferometer). I will also be practicing attaching spheres to cantilevers to prepare for testing the sensor. In Phase II, we will design and build electronics to measure capacitance of the device while it is subjected to different forces. After studying and testing the sensor, we hope to further develop the designs and use of the micro force sensor.

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