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Direct  Electrostatic Calibration of Hybrid Sensors for Small Force Measurement



Koo-Hyun Chung, Gordon A. Shaw, Jon R. Pratt


The measurement of forces from piconewtons to millinewtons is an area of interest from both an applied and pure research standpoint, however creating a link between small forces and the International System of Units (SI) has been difficult. In this work, a hybrid sensor was examined using small force measurement techniques. SI-traceable force was applied to the sensor using two methods, one yielding a compressive and the other a tensile load. Compressive loads were realized using an auxiliary force cell previously calibrated using deadweights. Tensile loads were realized in a new fashion by creating a calculable electrostatic force between a spherical electrode on the hybrid sensor load usa-button and a fixed, flat electrode located in close proximity to the sphere. Each of the loading conditions caused measurable deflections of the hybrid sensor load usa-button, which were recorded using the sensor?s on board displacement metrology. The applied loads and measured deflections were used to calculate the spring constant of the sensor.  Results obtained for the computed spring constant were consistent for both loading schemes, suggesting the new electrostatic loading scheme is a viable alternative to the more traditional force cell approach.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Mechanics Annual Conference
Conference Dates
June 4-6, 2007
Conference Location
Springfield, MA


calibration, force, instrumented indentation, metrology, nanotechnology, scanning probe microscopy


Chung, K. , Shaw, G. and Pratt, J. (2007), Direct  Electrostatic Calibration of Hybrid Sensors for Small Force Measurement, Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Mechanics Annual Conference, Springfield, MA, [online], (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created June 4, 2007, Updated February 19, 2017