Abstract

Numerous nanometrology techniques concerned with probing a wide range of frequency-dependent properties would benefit from a cantilevered sensor with tunable natural frequencies. In this work, we propose a method to arbitrarily tune the stiffness and natural frequencies of a microplate sensor for atomic force microscope applications, thereby allowing resonance amplification at a broad range of frequencies. This method is predicated on the principle of curvature-based stiffening. A macroscale experiment is conducted to verify the feasibility of the method. Next, a microscale finite element analysis is conducted on a proof-of-concept device. We show that both the stiffness and various natural frequencies of the device can be controlled through applied transverse curvature. Dynamic phenomena encountered in the method, such as eigenvalue curve veering, are discussed and methods are presented to accommodate these phenomena. We believe that this study will facilitate the development of future curvature-based microscale sensors for atomic force microscopy applications.

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