A model for controlled dosing of femto-litre volume liquids using hollow microcantilever

Xi Cao, Rick de Gruiter, Ralph van Oorschot, Simone Baldi, Hassan Hossein Nia Kani, Murali Krishna Ghatkesar

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A hollow microcantilever is used instead of a conventional microcantilever to dispense and aspirate liquids in the femto-litre (10-15 L) volume range in an atomic force microscope (AFM) setup. The inherent force sensing capability of the cantilever is used to monitor the fluid manipulation in-situ. At this small scale, parameters like: surface energy, evaporation, viscosity and temperature become important for controlled manipulation. In a conventional AFM, these parameters are usually not taken into consideration as feedback parameters. In the present work, we report initial experimental results on the dosing process and an analytical dynamic model of the process. The model is based on the liquid bridge between the cantilever tip and the substrate, which can describe the dosing process with variance accounted for (VAF) larger than 90%. We aim to use this model and implement a control system for precise dispensing and aspiration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15542-15547
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event20th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), 2017 - Toulouse, France
Duration: 9 Jul 201714 Jul 2017
Conference number: 20


  • Atomic Force Microscope
  • dynamic modelling
  • femto-liter
  • hollow-cantilever
  • nanotechnology


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