Browse Prior Art Database

Ultra-Sensitive Signal Sensor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117561D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Binnig, GK: AUTHOR

Abstract

Various kinds of signals with energies down to the level of a single chemical bond or below can be detected with the sensor presented within this disclosure.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 73% of the total text.

Ultra-Sensitive Signal Sensor

      Various kinds of signals with energies down to the level of a
single chemical bond or below can be detected with the sensor
presented within this disclosure.

      The so-called 'chemical nose' (*) is one of the first
examples, where a non-mechanical (i.e., a chemical) signal is
transformed into a mechanical one by micro mechanical means, and
transformed back into an electrical one.  Although it turned out to
be extremely sensitive, it has its limitations under certain
circumstances.  In particular when chemical reactions of single
molecules have to be recorded, the energy transmitted to the
cantilever might be sufficient to be detected, whereas the momentum
transmitted might not.  This is because of the small mass of the
molecules.

      It is proposed to clamp the chemically reactive material 3
(e.g., a single molecule) between the micro mechanical sensor 1 and a
counter part 2, as shown in Fig. 1.

      This principle can be generalized by replacing the chemical
reactive material by any kind of force or radiation sensitive
material.  The force could be radioactive, for example.  Either the
deflection or the oscillation quantities of the micro mechanical
sensor could be recorded.  The kind of sensing (integrated or laser)
is not relevant.  It is to be noted, however, that the sensing should
not transfer too much energy or momentum to the sensor.  The location
of the clamped material 3 depends on the special ca...