Flow sensing by buckling monitoring of electrothermally actuated double-clamped micro beams

Y. Kessler, S. Krylov, A. Liberzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on a flow sensing approach based on deflection monitoring of a micro beam buckled by the compressive thermal stress due to electrothermal Joule's heating. The air stream, convectively cooling the device, affects both the critical buckling values of the electric current and the postbuckling deflections of the structure. After calibration, the flow velocity can be obtained from the deflection measurements. The quasi-static responses of 1000 μm and 2000 μm long, 10 μm wide, and 30 μm high single crystal silicon beams were consistent with the prediction of the model, which couples thermoelectric, thermofluidic, and structural domains. The deflection sensitivity of up to 1.5 μm/(m/s) and the critical current sensitivity of up to 0.43 mA/(m/s) were registered in the experiments. Our model and experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of the sensing approach and further suggest that simple, robust, and potentially downscalable beam-type devices may have use in flow velocity and wall shear stress sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number083503
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 22 Aug 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Flow sensing by buckling monitoring of electrothermally actuated double-clamped micro beams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this