Small-Scale Biological and Artificial Multidimensional Sensors for 3D Sensing

Kriti Agarwal, Sehyun Hwang, Aaron Bartnik, Nicholas Buchele, Avishek Mishra, Jeong Hyun Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A vast majority of existing sub-millimeter-scale sensors have a planar, 2D geometry as a result of conventional top-down lithographic procedures. However, 2D sensors often suffer from restricted sensing capability, allowing only partial measurements of 3D quantities. Here, nano/microscale sensors with different geometric (1D, 2D, and 3D) configurations are reviewed to introduce their advantages and limitations when sensing changes in quantities in 3D space. This Review categorizes sensors based on their geometric configuration and sensing capabilities. Among the sensors reviewed here, the 3D configuration sensors defined on polyhedral structures are especially advantageous when sensing spatially distributed 3D quantities. The nano- and microscale vertex configuration forming polyhedral structures enable full 3D spatial sensing due to orthogonally aligned sensing elements. Particularly, the cubic configuration leveraged in 3D sensors offers an array of diverse applications in the field of biosensing for micro-organisms and proteins, optical metamaterials for invisibility cloaking, 3D imaging, and low-power remote sensing of position and angular momentum for use in microbots. Here, various 3D sensors are compared to assess the advantages of their geometry and its impact on sensing mechanisms. 3D biosensors in nature are also explored to provide vital clues for the development of novel 3D sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1801145
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 29 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • 3D sensing
  • 3D structures
  • MEMS
  • self-assembly
  • sensors

MRSEC Support

  • Partial

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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