Nano Sensors Group | Illinois

Flexural Plate Wave Sensors

While working in the MEMS Group at Draper Laboratory during the period from 1995-2000, Prof. Cunningham led the development of chemical and biological sensors using arrays of thin vibrating silicon membranes, called “Flexural Plate Wave” (FPW) sensors.  Initially demonstrated at the University of California at Berkeley in the group of Prof. Robert White, Prof. Cunningham’s research focused on the development of miniaturized arrays of FPW sensors integrated onto a single silicon chip, and development of applications in chemical vapor sensing and bacterial pathogen sensing.

The FPW array sensor technology has been licensed to Bioscale, LLC, in Cambridge, MA. (




  1. "Modeling of Flexural Plate Wave Devices," M.W. Weinberg, B.T. Cunningham, and C. Clapp, JMEMS, Vol. 9, No. 3, p. 370-379, (2000). 
  2. "Design, Fabrication and Vapor Characterization of a Microfabricated Flexural Plate Resonance Sensor and Application to Integrated Sensor Arrays," B.T. Cunningham, M. Weinberg, J. Pepper, C. Clapp, R. Bousquet, B. Hugh, R. Kant, C. Daly, E. Hauser, Sensors and Actuators B, 73, p. 112-123, (2001).
  3. "Detection of proteins and intact microorganisms using microfabricated flexural plate wave resonator arrays," J. Pepper, R. Noring, M. Klempner, B.T. Cunningham, A. Petrovich, R. Bousquet, C. Clapp, J. Brady, and B. Hugh, Sensors and Actuators B, Vol 96, No. 3, p. 565-575, 2003.