Microcantilevers, one of the most common MEMS structures, have been introduced as a novel sensing paradigm nearly a decade ago. Ever since, the technology has emerged to find important applications in chemical, biological and physical sensing areas. Today the technology stands at the verge of providing the next generation of sophisticated sensors (such as artificial nose, artificial tongue) with extremely high sensitivity and miniature size. The article provides an overview of the modes of detection, theory behind the transduction mechanisms, materials employed as active layers, and some of the important applications. Emphasizing the material design aspects, the review underscores the most important findings, current trends, key challenges and future directions of the microcantilever based sensor technology.
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