Micro/Nanostructures in Sensors and Actuators

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "A:Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 9889

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Mechanical Engineering and Electronic Information, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: micro/nano fabrication; micro/nanofluidics; electrokinetics; BioMEMS; biosensor
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Mechanical Engineering and Electronic Information, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: micro/nano fabrication; BioMEMS; micro/nanosensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the rapid development of micro- and nano-scale manufacturing technology and material science, sensors and actuators have been being miniaturized and integrated into microsystems, especially for wearable or implantable devices. Micro/nanostructures in the sensors and actuators leverage unique micro- and nano-scale phenomena significantly different from those in the macro-scale world. These micro/nanostructures have several merits to be developed to provide rapid, accurate, and robust analysis & control. Accordingly, this Special Issue seeks to showcase research papers and review articles that focus on (1) novel methodological developments in micro/nano structures used for sensors & actuators; (2) novel designs, fabrication, and applications of sensors & actuators (e.g., micro/nanofluidic sensors, wearable or implantable sensors & actuators, etc.).

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Prof. Dr. Cong Wang
Prof. Dr. Shulan Jiang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • micro/nano fabrication
  • micro/nano structure
  • sensors & actuators
  • MEMS
  • BioMEMS

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

16 pages, 3711 KiB  
Article
Intelligent Detection and Odor Recognition of Cigarette Packaging Paper Boxes Based on a Homemade Electronic Nose
by Xingguo Wang, Hao Li, Yunlong Wang, Bo Fu and Bin Ai
Micromachines 2024, 15(4), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15040458 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 763
Abstract
The printing process of box packaging paper can generate volatile organic compounds, resulting in odors that impact product quality and health. An efficient, objective, and cost-effective detection method is urgently needed. We utilized a self-developed electronic nose system to test four different cigarette [...] Read more.
The printing process of box packaging paper can generate volatile organic compounds, resulting in odors that impact product quality and health. An efficient, objective, and cost-effective detection method is urgently needed. We utilized a self-developed electronic nose system to test four different cigarette packaging paper samples. Employing multivariate statistical methods like Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA), Statistical Quality Control (SQC), and Similarity-based Independent Modeling of Class Analogy (SIMCA), we analyzed and processed the collected data. Comprehensive evaluation and quality control models were constructed to assess sample stability and distinguish odors. Results indicate that our electronic nose system rapidly detects odors and effectively performs quality control. By establishing models for quality stability control, we successfully identified samples with acceptable quality and those with odors. To further validate the system’s performance and extend its applications, we collected two types of cigarette packaging paper samples with odor data. Using data augmentation techniques, we expanded the dataset and achieved an accuracy rate of 0.9938 through classification and discrimination. This highlights the significant potential of our self-developed electronic nose system in recognizing cigarette packaging paper odors and odorous samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanostructures in Sensors and Actuators)
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10 pages, 3566 KiB  
Article
Development of Shape Prediction Model of Microlens Fabricated via Diffuser-Assisted Photolithography
by Ha-Min Kim, Yoo-Kyum Shin and Min-Ho Seo
Micromachines 2023, 14(12), 2171; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14122171 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 777
Abstract
The fabrication of microlens arrays (MLAs) using diffuser-assisted photolithography (DPL) has garnered substantial recent interest owing to the exceptional capabilities of DPL in adjusting the size and shape, achieving high fill factors, enhancing productivity, and ensuring excellent reproducibility. The inherent unpredictability of light [...] Read more.
The fabrication of microlens arrays (MLAs) using diffuser-assisted photolithography (DPL) has garnered substantial recent interest owing to the exceptional capabilities of DPL in adjusting the size and shape, achieving high fill factors, enhancing productivity, and ensuring excellent reproducibility. The inherent unpredictability of light interactions within the diffuser poses challenges in accurately forecasting the final shape and dimensions of microlenses in the DPL process. Herein, we introduce a comprehensive theoretical model to forecast microlens shapes in response to varying exposure doses within a DPL framework. We establish a robust MLA fabrication method aligned with conventional DPL techniques to enable precise shape modulation. By calibrating the exposure doses meticulously, we generate diverse MLA configurations, each with a distinct shape and size. Subsequently, by utilizing the experimentally acquired data encompassing parameters such as height, radius of curvature, and angles, we develop highly precise theoretical prediction models, achieving R-squared values exceeding 95%. The subsequent validation of our model encompasses the accurate prediction of microlens shapes under specific exposure doses. The verification results exhibit average error rates of approximately 2.328%, 7.45%, and 3.16% for the height, radius of curvature, and contact angle models, respectively, all of which were well below the 10% threshold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanostructures in Sensors and Actuators)
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21 pages, 7654 KiB  
Article
A 3D-Printed Micro-Optofluidic Chamber for Fluid Characterization and Microparticle Velocity Detection
by Emanuela Cutuli, Dario Sanalitro, Giovanna Stella, Lorena Saitta and Maide Bucolo
Micromachines 2023, 14(11), 2115; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14112115 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1304
Abstract
This work proposes a multi-objective polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) micro-optofluidic (MoF) device suitably designed and manufactured through a 3D-printed-based master–slave approach. It exploits optical detection techniques to characterize immiscible fluids or microparticles in suspension inside a compartment specifically designed at the core of the device [...] Read more.
This work proposes a multi-objective polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) micro-optofluidic (MoF) device suitably designed and manufactured through a 3D-printed-based master–slave approach. It exploits optical detection techniques to characterize immiscible fluids or microparticles in suspension inside a compartment specifically designed at the core of the device referred to as the MoF chamber. In addition, we show our novel, fast, and cost-effective methodology, dual-slit particle signal velocimetry (DPSV), for fluids and microparticle velocity detection. Different from the standard state-of-the-art approaches, the methodology focuses on signal processing rather than image processing. This alternative has several advantages, including the ability to circumvent the requirement of complex and extensive setups and cost reduction. Additionally, its rapid processing speed allows for real-time sample manipulations in ongoing image-based analyses. For our specific design, optical signals have been detected from the micro-optics components placed in two slots designed ad hoc in the device. To show the devices’ multipurpose capabilities, the device has been tested with fluids of various colors and densities and the inclusion of synthetic microparticles. Additionally, several experiments have been conducted to prove the effectiveness of the DPSV approach in estimating microparticle velocities. A digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV)-based approach has been used as a baseline against which the outcomes of our methods have been evaluated. The combination of the suitability of the micro-optical components for integration, along with the MoF chamber device and the DPSV approach, demonstrates a proof of concept towards the challenge of real-time total-on-chip analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanostructures in Sensors and Actuators)
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13 pages, 3690 KiB  
Article
Finite Element Study for Mass Sensitivity of Love Surface Acoustic Wave Sensor with Si3N4-SiO2 Double-Covered Waveguiding Layer
by Luming Li, Mingyong Zhou, Lei Huang and Bingyan Jiang
Micromachines 2023, 14(9), 1696; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14091696 - 30 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 790
Abstract
Love surface acoustic wave (L-SAW) sensors are miniaturized, easy to integrate, and suitable for detection in liquid environments. In this paper, an L-SAW sensor with a thin Si3N4-SiO2 double-covered layer was proposed for samples with small mass loads. [...] Read more.
Love surface acoustic wave (L-SAW) sensors are miniaturized, easy to integrate, and suitable for detection in liquid environments. In this paper, an L-SAW sensor with a thin Si3N4-SiO2 double-covered layer was proposed for samples with small mass loads. The output response, phase velocity of the acoustic wave, and the mass sensitivity were analyzed using the finite element method (FEM). The simulation results show that the Si3N4 layer with high wave velocity greatly weakens the limitation of SiO2 on the phase velocity. The phase velocity can reach about 4300 m/s, which can increase the frequency shift when the same mass load is applied. Within a certain range, the mass sensitivity of the sensor is enhanced with the increase in the total thickness of the waveguiding layer and the thickness ratio of Si3N4 in the double-covered layer. When the thickness ratio is 1:2, the peak value of the mass sensitivity of the sensor is approximately 50% higher than that achieved with only the SiO2 waveguiding layer. The surface average stress of the delay line region follows the same trend as the mass sensitivity. The increase in mass sensitivity is the result of the heightened stress on the sensor surface. This L-SAW sensor, featuring a double-covered waveguiding layer, demonstrates high sensitivity and a simple structure. The simulation results lay a foundation for the design and manufacture of SAW sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanostructures in Sensors and Actuators)
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21 pages, 5026 KiB  
Article
Investigations of Shape Deformation Behaviors of the Ferromagnetic Ni–Mn–Ga Alloy/Porous Silicone Rubber Composite towards Actuator Applications
by Wan-Ting Chiu, Yui Watanabe, Masaki Tahara, Tomonari Inamura and Hideki Hosoda
Micromachines 2023, 14(8), 1604; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14081604 - 14 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1046
Abstract
Ferromagnetic shape memory alloys (FSMAs), which are potential candidates for future technologies (i.e., actuators in robots), have been paid much attention for their high work per volume and rapid response as external stimulation, such as a magnetic field, is imposed. Among all the [...] Read more.
Ferromagnetic shape memory alloys (FSMAs), which are potential candidates for future technologies (i.e., actuators in robots), have been paid much attention for their high work per volume and rapid response as external stimulation, such as a magnetic field, is imposed. Among all the FSMAs, the Ni–Mn–Ga-based alloys were considered promising materials due to their appropriate phase transformation temperatures and ferromagnetism. Nevertheless, their intrinsic embrittlement issue and sluggish twin motion due to the inhibition of grain boundaries restrict their practicability. This study took advantage of the single-crystal Ni–Mn–Ga cube/silicone rubber composite materials to solve the two aforementioned difficulties. The single-crystal Ni–Mn–Ga cube was prepared by using a high-temperature alloying procedure and a floating-zone (FZ) method, and the cubes were verified to be the near-{100}p Ni–Mn–Ga alloy. Various room temperature (RT) curing silicone rubbers were utilized as matrix materials. Furthermore, polystyrene foam particles (PFP) were used to provide pores, allowing a porous silicone rubber matrix. It was found that the elastic modulus of the silicone rubber was successfully reduced by introducing the PFP. Additionally, the magnetic field-induced martensite variant reorientation (MVR) was greatly enhanced by introducing a porous structure into the silicone rubber. The single-crystal Ni–Mn–Ga cube/porous silicone rubber composite materials are considered to be promising materials for applications in actuators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanostructures in Sensors and Actuators)
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11 pages, 3447 KiB  
Article
Multi-Layered Bipolar Ionic Diode Working in Broad Range Ion Concentration
by Jaehyun Kim, Cong Wang and Jungyul Park
Micromachines 2023, 14(7), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14071311 - 26 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1533
Abstract
Ion current rectification (ICR) is the ratio of ion current by forward bias to backward bias and is a critical indicator of diode performance. In previous studies, there have been many attempts to improve the performance of this ICR, but there is the [...] Read more.
Ion current rectification (ICR) is the ratio of ion current by forward bias to backward bias and is a critical indicator of diode performance. In previous studies, there have been many attempts to improve the performance of this ICR, but there is the intrinsic problem for geometric changes that induce ionic rectification due to fabrication problems. Additionally, the high ICR could be achieved in the narrow salt concentration range only. Here, we propose a multi-layered bipolar ionic diode based on an asymmetric nanochannel network membrane (NCNM), which is realized by soft lithography and self-assembly of homogenous-sized nanoparticles. Owing to the freely changeable geometry based on soft lithography, the ICR performance can be explored according to the variation of microchannel shape. The presented diode with multi-layered configuration shows strong ICR performance, and in a broad range of salt concentrations (0.1 mM~100 mM), steady ICR performance. It is interesting to note that when each anion-selective (AS) and cation-selective (CS) NCNM volume was similar to each optimized volume in a single-layered device, the maximum ICR was obtained. Multi-physics simulation, which reveals greater ionic concentration at the bipolar diode junction under forward bias and less depletion under backward in comparison to the single-layer scenario, supports this tendency as well. Additionally, under different frequencies and salt concentrations, a large-area hysteresis loop emerges, which indicates fascinating potential for electroosmotic pumps, memristors, biosensors, etc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanostructures in Sensors and Actuators)
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13 pages, 14516 KiB  
Article
Arc Discharge System for Micromachining of Helical Fiber
by Jian Wang, Chao Ma, Shaochen Duan, Donghui Wang and Libo Yuan
Micromachines 2023, 14(6), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14061120 - 26 May 2023
Viewed by 1172
Abstract
This article developed a micromachining system of arcing helical fiber with four electrodes to address the issues with conventional approaches to processing helical fibers, which have several uses. The technique may be utilized to create several types of helical fibers. First, the simulation [...] Read more.
This article developed a micromachining system of arcing helical fiber with four electrodes to address the issues with conventional approaches to processing helical fibers, which have several uses. The technique may be utilized to create several types of helical fibers. First, the simulation demonstrates that the four-electrode arc’s constant-temperature heating area is larger than the two-electrode arc’s size. A large constant-temperature heating area is not only beneficial to the stress release of fiber, but also reduces the influence of fiber vibration and reduces the difficulty of device debugging. Then, a variety of helical fibers with various pitches were processed using the system presented in this research. By using a microscope, it can be observed that the cladding and core edges of the helical fiber are constantly smooth and the central core is tiny and off-axis, both of which are favorable for the propagation of optical waveguides. A low off-axis has been shown to minimize optical loss through modeling of energy coupling in spiral multi-core optical fibers. The transmission spectrum findings indicated that the device’s insertion loss and transmission spectrum fluctuation were both minimal for four different types of multi-core spiral long-period fiber gratings with intermediate cores. These prove that the spiral fibers prepared by this system have excellent quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanostructures in Sensors and Actuators)
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Review

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19 pages, 7528 KiB  
Review
Patterning Techniques in Coplanar Micro/Nano Capacitive Sensors
by Seokwon Joo, Jung Yeon Han, Soonmin Seo and Ju-Hyung Kim
Micromachines 2023, 14(11), 2034; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14112034 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1483
Abstract
Rapid technological advancements have led to increased demands for sensors. Hence, high performance suitable for next-generation technology is required. As sensing technology has numerous applications, various materials and patterning methods are used for sensor fabrication. This affects the characteristics and performance of sensors, [...] Read more.
Rapid technological advancements have led to increased demands for sensors. Hence, high performance suitable for next-generation technology is required. As sensing technology has numerous applications, various materials and patterning methods are used for sensor fabrication. This affects the characteristics and performance of sensors, and research centered specifically on these patterns is necessary for high integration and high performance of these devices. In this paper, we review the patterning techniques used in recently reported sensors, specifically the most widely used capacitive sensors, and their impact on sensor performance. Moreover, we introduce a method for increasing sensor performance through three-dimensional (3D) structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nanostructures in Sensors and Actuators)
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