A robust low-cost high-sensitivity subangstrom bidirectional displacement sensor
Armitage, Peter R.
Wright, C. David
Review of Scientific Instruments
American Institute of Physics
The design of a simple, robust, low-cost, and bidirectional displacement sensor with subangstrom resolution is described. A small gold plate is attached to the object, whose displacement is to be measured, and a small gold tip is brought into contact with the plate, establishing a reference current between the two. Movements of the gold plate away from the tip lead to a change in the tip-plate current; the reference current is then re-established by moving the tip using a simple magnetic actuator. The resolution of the sensor has been calibrated using an interferometer and was shown to be as high as 0.3 Å per system count. Potential applications of the sensor are numerous, including microbar air pressure measurement, motion and infrasound detection, thermal sensing, and gravitational field and relativistic gravity wave measurement.
Copyright © 2010 American Institute of Physics
Vol. 81 (10), article 106109
Place of publication