Numerical analysis of zeptogram/Hz-level mass responsivity for in-plane resonant nano-electro-mechanical sensors

Faezeh Arab Hassani*, C. Cobianu, S. Armini, V. Petrescu, P. Merken, D. Tsamados, A. M. Ionescu, Y. Tsuchiya, H. Mizuta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents numerical analysis of an in-plane resonant nano-electro-mechanical (NEM) sensor based on mass-detection principle using a 3D FEM electromechanical simulation combined with a NEM/MOS hybrid circuit simulation. The self-assembled linker molecules are modeled simply by adding extra surface coating layer, and three different functionalization schemes are studied: top and bottom, only top and all-around configurations. We investigate the impacts of the coating layer mass change as well as stiffness change on the resonance frequency by varying thickness of the coating layer for all the configurations. The small signal AC analysis of the sensor is performed, and the effect of the coating layer on the output signal is studied. Mass of the coating layer is then changed in order to model the random adsorption of target molecules onto the coating layer surface. We show that the NEM sensor enables to achieve the mass responsivity of 0.05 zeptogram/Hz for all the different functionalization schemes, which is approximately 11 orders smaller than that reported for present quartz crystal microbalance sensors. Moreover, we clarify that the scaling rule of the mass responsivity is given by k4 regardless of the different functionalization configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2879-2884
Number of pages6
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is financially supported by EUFP7 Project NEMSIC (Hybrid Nano-Electro-Mechanical/Integrated Circuit Systems for Sensing and Power Management Applications).

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Structured keywords

  • Photonics and Quantum


  • Mass responsivity
  • Mass-detection
  • Nano-electro-mechanical sensor
  • Resonance frequency


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