Measurement and Evaluation of the Gas Density and Viscosity of Pure Gases and Mixtures Using a Micro-Cantilever Beam

Sensors (Basel). 2015 Sep 22;15(9):24318-42. doi: 10.3390/s150924318.


Measurement of gas density and viscosity was conducted using a micro-cantilever beam. In parallel, the validity of the proposed modeling approach was evaluated. This study also aimed to widen the database of the gases on which the model development of the micro-cantilever beams is based. The density and viscosity of gases are orders of magnitude lower than liquids. For this reason, the use of a very sensitive sensor is essential. In this study, a micro-cantilever beam from the field of atomic force microscopy was used. Although the current cantilever was designed to work with thermal activation, in the current investigation, it was activated with an electromagnetic force. The deflection of the cantilever beam was detected by an integrated piezo-resistive sensor. Six pure gases and sixteen mixtures of them in ambient conditions were investigated. The outcome of the investigation showed that the current cantilever beam had a sensitivity of 240 Hz/(kg/m³), while the accuracy of the determined gas density and viscosity in ambient conditions reached ±1.5% and ±2.0%, respectively.

Keywords: AFM; gas density; gas viscosity; micro-cantilever beam; piezo-resistive sensing.