Project Details


This project aims to build the capability, at the UoB, to measure the dynamics of MeMs devices, particularly Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM) cantilevers. To date this is done using a very expensive micro scanning laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) on research trips to Purdue University in the USA. Bristol will make use of its single point LDV and instead move the Mems devices under the laser at a fraction of the cost. Software will be written to control the apparatus and reconstruct the data for ease of display and data export. A 3d printer capable of 25-micron resolution will enable a large range of Mems to be mounted and measured. Measuring the sub nanometer motions of the AFM cantilevers will allow their calibration and will enable qualitative maps of sample properties with nanometre lateral resolution over millimetre sized areas. It is hoped that such a calibrated system will replace the commonly used by destructive Nano-indentation technique. The MeMs measuring device will also be used to unlock the hidden dynamics of common imaging artefacts found in AFMs used all over the world. In doing so it is hoped that the image quality of such devices may be substantially improved. The work will fit in with EPSRC funded modelling work in the Engineering Maths Department to deliver high impact papers. There is already a list of international collaborators wishing to make use of the technology once it is operational, which will forge new collaborations and publications.

Layman's description

This project will build a tool to measure the very small movements of devices only a fraction of a millimetre in size. Traditionally these tool are very expensive however the UoB already owns some of the key components necessary to build a tool to carry out this task.

Key findings

The tool has been built and software written to control and gather data. The tool has already generated data which has formed the basics of 3 papers, 1 of which has already been submitted.
AcronymMeasuring MEMS in Bristol
Effective start/end date1/08/16 → …


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.