Method and apparatus for detecting resonance in electrostatically driven elements

Jay Gaillard
Razvan Marian Cicocan
Malcolm Skove
Apparao M. Rao

Document Type Patent


A method and system is disclosed that can be used to directly detect and analyze an electric signal electrostatically induced a semi-conductive or conductive element at resonance. Through detection of the changes in the characteristics of the signal from the element, the disclosed devices can detect, for instance, presence of chemical/biological species in a sample or measure physical parameters of a sample such as pressure/acceleration, magnetic force, temperature, and/or extremely small masses. The disclosed systems include one or more micro- or nano-sized elements. Through modulation of an electric charge on a counter-electrode that is located at a pre-determined distance from the element, a modulating charge can be induced upon the element. Resonance can be directly detected via electronic monitoring of the induced signal for the higher harmonics of the natural resonant frequency.