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Application of an electrostatically actuated cantilevered carbon

nanotube with an attached mass as a bio-mass sensor


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)

Fig. 6. Variation of pull-in voltage or sensitivity of CNT as a function of attached mass


(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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