A novel method for velocity measurements in both gaseous and liquid flows is presented. The sensing element is comprised of a free-standing electrically conductive nanoscale ribbon suspended between silicon supports. Due to its minuscule size, the nanoribbon deflects in flow due to viscously dominated fluid forcing inducing an axial strain of the sensing element. The strain leads to a resistance change, which is measurable through a simple Wheatstone bridge circuit and can be related to the flow velocity through semi-analytic analysis. Two methods of characterization are employed to validate the sensor functionality. First, confocal microscopy was used to validate physical models and assumptions through imaging of the nanoribbon deformation under different fluid loads. Second, the resistance measurements of various nanoribbons under different flow conditions exhibited sensitivity to fluid flow consistent with lower order model predictions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Applied Mathematics
- flow measurements
- velocity measurements