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Application of an electrostatically actuated cantilevered carbon nanotube

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Iman Mehdipour

a, b,

*

, Ahmad Erfani-Moghadam

c

, Cyrus Mehdipour

d

a

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Semnan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran

b

Young Researchers Club and Elites, Semnan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran

c

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

d

Department of Electrical Engineering, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran

a r t i c l e i n f o

Article history:

Received 14 November 2012

Received in revised form

11 April 2013

Accepted 30 April 2013

Available online 15 May 2013

Keywords:

SWCNT

Cantilevered carbon nanotube

Mass sensor

Dynamic pull-in voltage

Electrostatic actuation

Beam theory

Nano-switches

a b s t r a c t

In the present paper, another latent capability of SWCNT as a mass sensor is investigated. The rela-

tionship between the resonant frequency, dynamic pull-in voltage at the resonance frequency shift, and

the attached mass is established by using the nonlocal EulereBernoulli beam theory. Using this rela-

tionship, a general closed-form nonlinear sensor-equation has been derived for the detection of the mass

attached to the SWCNT. The aim of this study and present model is to show the sensitivity of the Can-

tilevered SWCNT to the values and positions of attached mass. Moreover, the results indicate that by

increasing the value of attached mass and considering a single non-local scaling parameter (e

0

), the

values of dynamic pull-in voltage at the resonance frequency shift are decreased. Because of the small

scaling parameter (e

0

), the mass sensitivity of carbon nanotube increases, when the position of the

attached mass is in the tip of a Cantilevered SWCNT length. The authority and the accuracy of these

formulas are examined with other pull-in sensor equations in literatures. The results demonstrate that

the new sensor equation can be applied for CNT-based mass sensors with rational accuracy.

2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

With the current drive of research, CNT has been the chief

research subject in the area of the fullerene, and it has been one of

the most hopeful researches in the eld of mechanics, physics,

chemistry to name but a few. Owing to superior mechanical

properties, unique physical properties, and hollow geometry of

CNTs, they can be used for nanoelectronics, nanoactuators, nano-

devices nanocomposites, hydrogen storage (high frequency)

micromechanical oscillators [1e5] and nanosensors [6,7]. Other

application is in biology [8e11], especially in medical technology

[12] and sensors [13,14] which can be broadly classied into two

categories [15,16]: chemical sensors [17] and biosensors [18].

According to literatures, controlling the experiments at the

nanoscale is difcult. In recent times, various atomistic-based

techniques, such as molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, have

been put to use to model the dynamic behavior of the nanotubes

[19,20]. The molecular dynamics simulation is limited to systems

with small number of atoms (say less than 10

16

) and remains time

consuming as well as expensive [21]. The continuum modeling

approach requires much less computational effort besides it is

much cheaper than the molecular dynamics simulations and

experimental verication, respectively. The result of continuum-

based modeling agrees well with many results obtained from

atomistic-based studies and experiments. These close agreements

show that continuum-based modeling could be employed in the

nano-scale area. Recent literatures show an increased utilization of

modeling methods based on elastic continuum mechanics theories

for studying the vibration of carbon nanotubes and nano-devices

[22e24].

CNTs are highly sensitive to its environment changes; hence,

researchers have discovered the potential of utilizing CNT as

nanomechanical resonators in atomic-scale mass sensor. The

principle of mass sensing with resonators is based on the fact that

the resonant frequency is sensitive to the attached mass and its

position. The attached mass shifts the resonant frequency of the

resonator. The key issue of mass detection is in quantifying the

change in the resonant frequency due to the attached mass and its

position. To analyze the effects of adsorbed mass and its location on

the resonant frequency of CNT, the continuum models based on

* Corresponding author. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Semnan Branch,

Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran. Tel.: 98 111 3234205, 98 9355805940

(mobile).

E-mail address: imanmehdipor@yahoo.com (I. Mehdipour).

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Current Applied Physics

j ournal homepage: www. el sevi er. com/ l ocat e/ cap

1567-1739/$ e see front matter 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cap.2013.04.031

Current Applied Physics 13 (2013) 1463e1469

beam as well as shell was used [25e31]. Recently, nite element

analysis (FEA) has been used to perform the rapid computation of

the mechanical properties of nanostructures [32]. The small di-

mensions of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and their extraordinary

mechanical properties make these structures potential candidates

for replacing the vibrating cantilevered or bridged structure in a

mass detector. Several studies have investigated the use of a CNT as

a mass sensor. In previous studies [33,34], authors used the con-

tinuum mechanics method combined with commercial FEM soft-

ware to simulate the mechanical responses of individual carbon

nanotubes treated as cylindrical beams or thin shells with thick-

ness. The nal intention of a resonator sensor is single molecule

detection capability. Chowdhury et al. [35] presented an equivalent

approximation model to analyze frequency shift of a single-walled

carbon nanotube (SWCNT) due to an attached particle xed at a

location. It is more useful for a mass sensor to detect the mass and

position of the attached particle at the same time. In previous

Letters, frequency shift of carbon-nanotube-based sensor with an

attached mass is studied using modied classical and nonlocal

elasticity theory. These theories with long-range interactions are

often applied to analyze the vibration behavior of CNT. In addition,

the effects of nonlocal parameter, attached mass and its location on

the frequency shift of a cantilevered and a bridged SWCNT are

analyzed.

Appraising accurately the natural frequencies of electrically

actuated carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has been an effective study

subject over the past few years. Nanotubes have the potential to

improve the development of unique nano-electromechanical sys-

tems (NEMS). Carbon nanotube based nano-switches have the

capability to offer very high resonant frequencies in the gigahertz

range because of their high stiffness. In addition, they have

advantage of very lowenergy consumption [36]. Electromechanical

nano-switches can be designed by suspending a nanotube over a

ground electrode. For a resonant sensor, a difference voltage

applied across the CNT and the rigid plate deects the CNT. The

applied voltage has an upper limit which the electrostatic force is

not balanced by the elastic restoring force in the deformable beam,

the beam deects toward the stationary rigid plate spontaneously,

and the device collapses. This instability is known as the pull-in

instability and the associated applied voltage is called pull-in

voltage [36e38]. To the best known of authors, detecting the

attached mass to a CNT accompanying with pull-in concept have

not investigated yet. Rasekh and Khadem [39,40] investigated the

nonlinear behavior of a cantilevered single wall carbon nanotube

(SWCNT) under electrostatic DC actuation. Ouakad et al. [41]

studied the variation of natural frequencies and mode shapes

with the level of slackness for CNT under DC electrostatic load. In

both studies, the authors used EulereBernoulli beam model to

solve the nonlinear electrically actuated curved CNT problem and

have seen a good agreement between continuum-based and

atomistic-based simulation. Khater et al. [42] used a micro-

cantilever beam with an attached mass under electrostatic eld

as a mass sensor and suggested a new mass sensing technique.

Although, considering the small length scale such as lattice

space between atoms in carbon nanotubes, surface properties, and

grain size in continuum model formulation makes challenge, it

increases the accuracy of the model which crucial factor in using

carbon nanotube as a mass detector. The nonlocal elasticity theory

by Eringen [43,44] is useful tool in treating phenomena whose

origins lie in the regimes smaller than the classical continuum

models. In this theory, the internal size or scale could be repre-

sented in the constitutive equations simply as material parameters.

Such a nonlocal continuum mechanics has been widely accepted

and has been applied to many problems including wave propaga-

tion, dislocation, crack problems, etc. Recently, there has been great

interest to develop analytical methodologies based on molecular

mechanics and nonlocal elasticity theory to quantify mechanical

behavior of a nanotube [45].

In the current study, we have modeled cantilevered single-

walled carbon nanotube with an attached mass at position x x

s

,

as shown in Fig. 1, as a nano-cantilevered beamthat is excited by an

external electrode using a DC power supply to enhance its sensing

performance. The frequency-shift of the cantilevered SWCNT is

calculated by the nonlocal EulereBernoulli beam Eq. (19) of

Ref. [31]. The important aims of this study are classied as follows:

(1) To express the governing equations of motion for a cantilevered

single-walled carbon nanotube with an attached mass by uti-

lizing the nonlocal EulereBernoulli beam theory;

(2) To use a single-mode Galerkins approximation to derive a

second-order governing differential equation;

(3) To obtain the tip deection curves versus dynamic pull-in

voltage for different values of mass at different position on

carbon nanotube length, by numerical time integration

method;

(4) To discuss the effects of initial gap between carbon nanotube

and electrode plate, values of attached mass, position of

attached mass on CNT length and nonlocal parameter on the

mass sensing dynamic pull-in voltage at the resonance fre-

quency shift.

2. Analysis of the problem

Recently, the continuum mechanics method and theoretical

models for vibrational behavior of carbon nanotubes has been

successfully applied to analyze the dynamic responses of individual

CNTs [46e49].

Fig. 1. Cantilever carbon nanotube actuator with an attached mass at the position x x

s

.

I. Mehdipour et al. / Current Applied Physics 13 (2013) 1463e1469 1464

The present study considers a nano-cantilever beam put under

electrostatic force which is used as a bio-mass detector or elec-

trostatic actuation. We give notice to use the present nano-system

for other applications (e.g., gas sensor). The nano-cantilever beam

with a nano-scale particle that is rigidly attached at position x x

s

,

is placed a distance g

i

away from an electrode powered by a DC

power supply, as shown in Fig. 1.

The basic concept underlying the use of a nano-cantilever as a

mass sensor is the fact that the natural frequency of the nano-

beam is slightly modied as a result of depositing the nano-

particle on the length of carbon nanotube. Based on the fre-

quency shift due to the attached nano-mass, the mass can be

estimated. A method for detecting the shift in the resonance fre-

quency, once the nano-particle (e.g., cell) is settled on the length

of SWCNT, is to give the nano-beam an initial disturbance, for

example a pulse, and then measure the frequency content of the

free response. It is explained that the electric actuation is instru-

mented in the present system to detect the attached mass. Khater

et al. [42] showed the potential use of an electrostatically actuated

micro-cantilever beam as a mass sensor and proposed a new mass

sensing technique which uses the pull-in phenomenon. In this

effort, the mass sensing is based on pull-in voltage at the reso-

nance frequency shift.

In fact, in a single walled carbon nanotube, the way the gra-

phene sheet is wrapped is represented by a pair of indices (n, m)

called the chiral vector. The integers n and m mark the number of

unit vectors along two directions in the honeycomb crystal lattice

of graphene. If m 0, the nanotubes are called zig-zag. If n m,

the nanotubes are called arm-chair. Otherwise, they are called

chiral [45].

The model is composed of a cantilevered zig-zag (10, 10)

CNT suspended over a ground electrode plate. The related data

to be used for a (10, 10) cantilevered SWCNT is listed in Table 1

[39].

It is assumed that the problem under consideration is governed

by the nonlocal EulereBernoulli beam theory. A concentrated mass

M is located at position x x

s

and x is the spatial coordinate along

the beam.

The governing equation of motion for this model according to

Hamiltonian principle can be expressed as [39]:

v

4

wx; t

vx

4

_

1 e

0

a

2

v

2

vx

2

_

rA

EI

v

2

wx; t

vt

2

p

0

V

2

g

i

wg

i

w2R

_

arccos h

2

_

1

g

i

w

R

_ (1)

where w is the transverse displacement with respect to the

concentrated mass M, E the Youngs modulus, I the second moment

of the cross-sectional area A, r is the density of the SWCNT material,

a is an internal characteristic length, length of CeC bond (0.142 nm

in graphene), or lattice parameter, granular distance etc. e

0

is a

nonlocal scaling parameter, which has been assumed as a constant

appropriate to each material, it is used to modify the classical

elasticity theory and is limited to apply to a device on the nano-

meter scale and

0

8.854 10

12

C

2

N

1

m

2

is the permittivity of

vacuum. The following non-dimensional quantities are dened as

W

w

g

i

; x

*

x

L

; x

x

s

L

; t

*

t

L

2

EI

rA

(2)

Making all the variables in Eq. (1) dimensionless by using the

non-dimensional quantities of Eq. (2), gives:

W

000 0

W m

2

W

00

d

V

2

1 W

_

1 W

2

g

_

arccos h

2

1 g1 W

(3)

where

l

g

i

L

; d

p

0

L

4

g

2

i

EI

; g

g

i

R

; m

e

0

a

L

(4)

It should be noted that prime and dot indicate derivatives with

respect to non-dimensional position and time, respectively. For

ease of notation, the asterisks in the above equations have been

dropped., To perform a separation of variables analysis, the trans-

verse displacement can be written as:

Wx; t

N

i 1

q

i

t f

i

x (5)

The ith linear undamped mode shape of the uninected canti-

lever beam is considered as

f

i

x cosh b

i

x cos b

i

x a

i

sinh b

i

x sin b

i

x

(6)

a

i

cosh b

i

cos b

i

sinh b

i

sin b

i

(7)

And the values of b

i

quantities are the roots of the characteristic

equation (Eq. (19)) [31]. Haw-Long Lee et al. [31] derived the rela-

tionship equation between the frequency shift of the sensor and the

attached mass. According to Eq. (19) [31], frequency shift of carbon-

nanotube-based mass sensor in the xed-free SWCNT boundary

conditions for the different values of the attached mass and

nonlocal parameters are depicted in Table 2.Where q

i

(t) shows the

dynamic response of SWCNT and 4

i

x i for i 1, 2, 3, ... represent

the normalized mode functions of the beam from the linear

Table 1

SWCNT properties [39].

SWCNT properties Symbol Value Unit

Density r 1330 Kg/m

3

Cross sectional area A 1.024 10

18

m

2

Radius R 0.68 10

9

m

Length L 20.7 10

9

m

Moment of inertia I 2.134 10

37

m

4

Youngs modulus E 1054 10

9

Pa

Table 2

Values of b

1

for the different values of the attached mass and nonlocal parameters

(calculated according toEq. (19) [32]).

M (fg) e

0

0 e

0

0.3617 (Zig-Zag) [45]

x 0.1 x 0.5 x 1 x 0.1 x 0.5 x 1

0 1.8755 1.8755 1.8755 1.8745 1.8745 1.8745

10

8

1.8755 1.8755 1.8745 1.8745 1.8735 1.8675

10

7

1.8755 1.8745 1.8685 1.8745 1.8665 1.8135

10

6

1.8755 1.8675 1.8135 1.8735 1.8035 1.4995

10

5

1.8745 1.8045 1.4995 1.8725 1.4555 0.9435

10

4

1.8735 1.4545 0.9435 1.8545 0.8965 0.5385

10

3

1.8545 0.8965 0.5385 1.5975 0.5095 0.3035

10

2

1.5955 0.5095 0.3035 0.9545 0.2865 0.1705

I. Mehdipour et al. / Current Applied Physics 13 (2013) 1463e1469 1465

vibration analysis owing to the specied boundary condition.

Meanwhile, the mode function 4

i

satises the following formula:

_

1

0

f

i

x f

j

x dx 0 isj

_

1

0

f

i

x f

j

x dx 1 i j

(8)

Based on Galerkins method, by substituting Eq. (5) into in the

governing equation of motion, Eq. (3), then multiplying the ob-

tained equations by the mode shape, 4

1

x, and integrating from

0 to 1, a set of coupled nonlinear ordinary differential equations are

obtained:

s is numerical parameter obtained simply by algebraic operations

and are completely related to the normalized mode functions.

s

_

1

0

f

1

x

d

2

f

1

x

dx

2

dx (10)

In solving vibration ordinary differential Eq. (9), the

numerical solution (with RungeeKutta method of order 4) for

nonlinear equation is applied [52]. The results are presented

in terms of deection and applied voltage for different initial

gap to length ratio of the CNT and the different value of attached

mass.

3. Numerical results

In current study, the single-walled cantilevered SWCNT is

modeled as clamp-free beam by using nonlocal Euler Bernoulli

beam theory. It is assumed that the CNT has been oscillated in an

electrical eld for measuring the attached mass and predicting the

location of it on the length of the CNT based on pull-in voltage at

the resonance frequency shift. The parameters of the material and

geometry of the CNT are taken as Table 1. It is worthwhile to

determine if sufcient terms have been used in the analysis in order

to obtain converged result in case of series solution. In this regard,

the linear dynamic pull-in voltages at the maximum tip deection

(about 0.75) for the different values of gapelength ratio, l, are

compared in Table 3. The present formulation is validated by

Ref. [39]. According to Table 3, a good agreement can be seen be-

tween the present linear applied dynamic pull-in voltage and the

pervious one [39].

To illustrate the accuracy of the present work, the dynamic pull-

in voltage modeling results are compared with MD simulation [53]

and the dynamic pull-in simulation results [40] in Table 4 for the

initial gaps of 1, 2, and 3 nm in the absent of the nonlocal scaling

parameter e

0

. The gures witness a good agreement for reported

dynamic pull-in voltage in different initial gaps.

Fig. 2 depicts the time history of the cantilever tip deection in

the case of gapelength ratio, l 0.5, for different applied voltages.

As shown, before pull-in voltage (V

PI

10.1683), the response is

periodic and an increase in the applied voltage would increase the

vibration amplitude and decrease the vibration frequency. Beyond

the V

PI

value, periodic motion alters to a divergent motion and the

beam collapses onto the electrode plate and the tip deection

approaches 1. Separation point from the periodic to divergent

motion is an index for sensing the pull-in voltage. Moreover, It is

important to note that dynamic pull-in phenomenon occurs when

the tip dimensionless deection is reached to W 0.75.

Fig. 3 illustrates the phase plot in the case of gapelength ratio,

l 0.5, at various applied voltages. The shown dynamic response in

Fig. 3 conrms that dynamic pull-in happens when the tip deec-

tion is close to W 0.75, and increasing the applied voltage

slightly from 10.1683 to 10.17 V, the periodic motion changes to a

divergent motion and the nano-cantilever suddenly collapses onto

the substrate plate.

Table 3

Comparison of linear pull-in voltage with different gapelength ratio, l with e

0

0.

l V

PI

(Linear) [39] V

PI

(Linear) Eq. (3) % Error

0.1 1.324 1.319 0.3776

0.25 4.249 4.240 0.2118

0.5 10.19 10.169 0.2061

0.75 16.905 16.868 0.2189

Table 4

Comparison of dynamic pull-in voltages for different initial gaps in e

0

0.

Initial gap, r (nm) V

PI

MD [53] V

PI

[40] V

PI

Present work

1 1.64 1.59 1.61

2 9 9.08 9.02

3 17.8 18.05 17.9

t

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

W

-1.0

-0.8

-0.6

-0.4

-0.2

0.0

V=9

V=10

V =10.1683

V=10.17

Fig. 2. Non-dimensional tip deection time history for different voltage V, e

0

0,

l 0.5 and M 0.

_

1 sm

2

_

d

2

q

1

t

dt

2

b

4

1

q

1

t d

_

1

0

f

1

xV

2

dx

1 f

1

xq

1

t

_

1 f

1

xq

1

t

2

g

_

arccos h

2

1 g1 f

1

xq

1

t

(9)

I. Mehdipour et al. / Current Applied Physics 13 (2013) 1463e1469 1466

Fig. 4 demonstrates tip deection versus applied voltage onto

nanotube with attached mass in three different gaps. As can be

seen, before pull-in voltage (pull-in deection at W 0.75), the

tip deection decrease customarily by increasing the applied

voltage. But at pull-in deection, by a slight increase in the applied

voltage, the tip deection decreased dramatically in an unusual

manner and the tip of carbon nanotube sticks to the electrode plate

and the tip deection approaches 1. Our present model just can

anticipate the vibrational behavior of carbon nanotube until pull-in

deection. After this spot, the motion of carbon nanotube is not

oscillatory. Otherwise stated, it has a divergent motion, so it is

obvious that this model does not work. Hence, the dimensionless

tip deection at about 0.75 is our reference point to measure the

dynamic pull-in voltage. At rst glance on Fig. 4, it can be seen by

increasing gap between nanotube and substrate plate, pull-in

voltage increase. It is important to mention that the increase in

attached mass would lead to decrease in pull-in voltage.

Table 5 represents the dynamic pull-in voltage regarding to the

different values of the attached mass (M), nonlocal parameters (e

0

)

and gapelength ratio, l, and location, x, respectively. As a rst

glance, it can be found by increasing gap-length ratio the pull-in

voltage increases. In addition, for all values of x, pull-in voltage

diminishes when attached mass to the nanotube increases. Ac-

cording to Table 4, to describe the effects of nonlocal parameter (e

0

)

on dynamic pull-in voltage, it can be seen that when carbon

nanotube vibrates under electrode eld without attached mass, by

increasing the value of nonlocal parameter, the dynamic pull-in

voltage decreases and this result has also resulted for different

gap-length ratio, l.

Furthermore, the location of attached mass can affect on the

changes in dynamic pull-in voltage of the mass sensor. Fig. 5

Fig. 4. Variation of the maximum tip deection of the CNT with attached mass at

position x 1, versus DC voltage V for various l and M in e

0

0.

W

-1.2 -1.0 -0.8 -0.6 -0.4 -0.2 0.0

d

W

/

d

t

-2.0

-1.5

-1.0

-0.5

0.0

0.5

1.0

V=9

V=10

V =10.1683

V=10.17

Fig. 3. Phase portrait under different applied voltages, e

0

0, l 0.5 and M 0.

Table 5

Values of dynamic pull-in voltage V

PI

for the different values of the attached mass

(M), nonlocal parameters (e

0

) and gapelength ratio, l.

l M (fg) e

0

0 nm e

0

0.3617 (Zig-Zag)nm[45]

x 0.1 x 0.5 x 1 x 0.1 x 0.5 x 1

0.25 0 4.240 4.240 4.240 4.239 4.239 4.239

10

8

4.240 4.240 4.234 4.239 4.238 4.231

10

7

4.240 4.234 4.227 4.239 4.23 4.172

10

6

4.240 4.226 4.167 4.238 4.162 3.925

10

5

4.234 4.158 3.920 4.237 3.901 3.747

10

4

4.233 3.895 3.741 4.216 3.743 3.718

10

3

4.212 3.735 3.712 3.987 3.718 3.716

10

2

3.980 3.712 3.709 3.749 3.716 3.716

0.5 0 10.169 10.169 10.169 10.166 10.166 10.166

10

8

10.169 10.169 10.166 10.166 10.163 10.147

10

7

10.169 10.166 10.149 10.166 10.144 10.005

10

6

10.169 10.147 10.005 10.163 9.981 9.412

10

5

10.166 9.983 9.412 10.16 9.355 8.987

10

4

10.163 9.354 8.985 10.111 8.975 8.917

10

3

10.111 8.971 8.916 9.56 8.915 8.911

10

2

9.557 8.915 8.910 8.989 8.908 8.890

0.75 0 16.868 16.868 16.868 16.863 16.863 16.863

10

8

16.868 16.868 16.863 16.863 16.858 16.831

10

7

16.868 16.863 16.835 16.863 16.826 16.596

10

6

16.868 16.831 16.596 16.858 16.555 15.612

10

5

16.863 16.559 15.612 16.854 15.517 14.906

10

4

16.858 15.515 14.904 16.772 14.88 14.791

10

3

16.772 14.880 14.788 15.858 14.787 14.78

10

2

15.853 14.785 14.780 14.91 14.776 14.777

Fig. 5. The effects of value and location (from x 0e1) of attached mass on the

dynamic pull-in voltage for various nonlocal parameters in l 0.75.

I. Mehdipour et al. / Current Applied Physics 13 (2013) 1463e1469 1467

demonstrates the effect of location of attached mass, x, as well as

value of mass on the dynamic pull-in voltage of the cantilever mass

sensor for all e

0

. It can be found that the effect of the location of

attached mass on the dynamic pull-in voltage of the mass sensor is

signicant. Increasing the value of x decreases the dynamic pull-in

voltage. This is because the requisite voltage of the sensor with the

attached mass decreases with increasing the particle mass.

Growing the value of x is equivalent to an increase of the particle

mass at the same location. According to Fig. 5, the effect of small

scaling parameter (e

0

) on dynamic pull-in is considerable. Because

of alteration of small parameter (e

0

), dynamic pull-in voltage

decline when the location of mass on the length of the CNT is

constant. This trend is more intensive for heavy particles.

To further investigate the effects of the value and location of

attached mass and small scale (nonlocal parameter) on the dynamic

pull-in voltage of the SWCNT based sensor, the results with or

without the attached mass are compared. Fig. 6 is described the

sensitivityof CNTas a functionof logarithmic value of attachedmass.

The sensitivity of CNT dynamic pull-in voltage ratio is dened as:

Fig. 6 depicts the inuence of location of attached mass on the

sensitivity of the sensor for distinctive nonlocal parameter, e

0

in

different gap-length ratio, l. It can be seen that the sensitivity is

remained stable with increasing mass at location of x 0.1,

however, for last two or three masses noticeable increase in

sensitivity can be found. On the other hand, the trend for two

other values of x 0.5, 1.0 is completely different for the previous

one and a high sensitivity is divulged the sensor is strongly

dependent on the location of attached mass, x, for attached mass

larger than 10

7

(fg) and smaller than 10

2

(fg). Otherwise stated,

for very large and small masses the sensitivity of sensor does not

change signicantly. From Fig. 6, it is obvious that to sense of

large mass, the location of attached mass should be farther

from the tip, but for small one, it should locate at the tip. The

mass sensitivity of the nano-electro-mechanical sensor can reach

at least 10

22

g, which has the similar order as mentioned in

Ref. [6]. Therefore, most of the bacterium/virus, the mass of

which is around 10

20

g [50,51], can be detected. Surprisingly,

due to considering the inuence of nonlocal parameter, e

0

, in

EulereBernoulli beam theory, the graph demonstrated that the

mass sensitivity of carbon nanotube increased remarkably.

Regarding gap-length ratio, l, the results have proved that

alternative initial gaps impact on mass sensitivity of carbon

nanotubes is not noticeable. In other words, in every initial gap,

the mass sensitivity of CNT is almost the same without consid-

erable changing.

4. Conclusions

This paper has developed a new mass sensor equation

for modeling the vibration behavior of a cantilevered

zigzag single-walled carbon nanotube with attached mass at

different location of its length by using the pull-in phenome-

non at resonant frequency shift. The dynamic pull-in voltage at

resonant frequency shift of the cantilevered SWCNT has been

investigated. In addition, the validity and the accuracy of

these formulas have examined with other pull-in voltage

equations existing the literature. The following points can be

summarized:

(1) By this model, it can be sensed the attached mass at each po-

sition of a cantilevered SWCNT length by using the pull-in

phenomenon at resonant frequency shift.

(2) Dynamic pull-in spot is the point that the dimensionless tip

deection is about 0.75 and it is a reference point to measure

the dynamic pull-in voltage.

(3) At different positions of attached mass, by increasing the

value of attached mass, the dynamic pull-in voltage is

decreased.

(4) At constant value of the attached mass, by increasing the

position of attached mass, x, the dynamic pull-in voltage is

decreased.

(5) The mass sensitivity of carbon nanotube increases when the

position of the attached mass, x, is in the tip of a cantilevered

SWCNT length.

(6) Also, the numerical results indicate that the mass sensitivity

of carbon nanotube-based nanobalances can reach up to

10

22

kg,

(7) By considering nonlocal scaling parameter e

0

, the mass sensi-

tivity is soared notably.

(8) The results indicate that the new model can be used for elec-

trostatically actuated cantilevered SWCNT-based mass sensors

with reasonable accuracy.

DV

PI

V

PI0

dynamic pull in voltageof CNT without attached mass dynamic pull in voltage of CNT with attached mass

dynamic pull in voltageof CNT without attached mass

(11)

(M) for various values of attached mass position (x) and small scaling parameter e

0

.

I. Mehdipour et al. / Current Applied Physics 13 (2013) 1463e1469 1468

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