Microelectromechanical systems offer variety of advantages such as small size, higher sensitivity, low cost because of mass fabrication capabilities and ease of implementation. Thin film cantilever based devices have been successfully used for variety of applications not limited to chemical vapors for chemical agents, biological warfare agents, contaminants in water, explosives, acoustics, vibration monitoring, flow sensing, viscosity and density measurements, antibody, pathogen detection, acceleration, shock sensing and magnetic field sensing. Thin film cantilevers can easily realized on silicon and other surfaces. Microcantilevers supported on one edge of the substrate can be designed to demonstrate very high sensitivity to very less force of the order of piconewtons. These structures could be extended for application in gas sensing if chemically sensitive layer is added on to the cantilever. The dimensions of the cantilever determine the sensitivity. Cantilevers as thin as few tenths of nanometer in thickness has been successfully demonstrated. Challenge associated with these devices when used as a sensor is their response to shock and acceleration.

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