Sensitivity enhancement of cantilever-based sensors using feedback delays

Calvin Bradley, Mohammed F. Daqaq, Amin Bibo, Nader Jalili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper entails a novel sensitivity-enhancement mechanism for cantilever-based sensors. The enhancement scheme is based on exciting the sensor at the clamped end using a delayed-feedback signal obtained by measuring the tip deflection of the sensor. The gain and delay of the feedback signal are chosen such that the base excitations set the beam into stable limit-cycle oscillations as a result of a supercritical Hopf bifurcation of the trivial fixed points. The amplitude of these limit-cycles is shown to be ultrasensitive to parameter variations and, hence, can be utilized for the detection of minute changes in the resonant frequency of the sensor. The first part of the manuscript delves into the theoretical understanding of the proposed mechanism and the operation concept. Using the method of multiple scales, an approximate analytical solution for the steady-state limit-cycle amplitude near the stability boundaries is obtained. This solution is then utilized to provide a comprehensive understanding of the effect of small frequency variations on the limit-cycle amplitude and the sensitivity of these limit-cycles to different design parameters. Once a deep theoretical understanding is established, the manuscript provides an experimental study to investigate the proposed concept. Experimental results demonstrate orders of magnitude sensitivity enhancement over the traditional frequency-shift method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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