2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Predicting and Measuring the Resonant Frequency of a Microcantilever
Abstract: As a segment of our advanced lab course, students calculate the resonant frequency of a microcantilever (AFM probe) based on its dimensions (which they measure), and compare this with vibrational modes they observe (after assembling a basic system for optical transduction) when the cantilever is affixed to a piezoelectric drive. During the experiment, students become familiar with a number of instruments/components including a scanning electron microscope (SEM), a variety of optics components, a quadrant photodiode, op-amps, a digital oscilloscope, and a lock-in amplifier. This is one of our favorite labs because it exposes students to a wide range of experimental techniques while reinforcing their understanding of resonances and the continuum mechanics of solids. In addition, the data analysis component also presents realistic challenges.  We present here a brief sketch of the experiment itself, the tasks assigned to students, the challenges they face, and a selection of student data/results.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Thushara Perera
Illinois Wesleyan University
P. O. Box 2900
Illinois Wesleyan University, Physics
Bloomington, IL 61702
Phone: 3095563888
and Co-Presenter(s)
Gabe Spalding