Micro-Torsion Balance

Case ID:

This technology is a new ultra-sensitive torsion balance device small enough to fit on a microchip, that can be used to measure forces, gravity, or acceleration with a high degree of resolution.

A torsion balance measures torque by monitoring the rotation of a test mass suspended by from an elastic fiber (acting as a torsion spring).  To increase the sensitivity of the balance, the size of the fiber can be reduced, resulting in a smaller torsional stiffness and therefore larger rotation.

This technology merges the concepts behind the original torsion balance with modern-day technology to create a small and ultra-sensitive device for measuring forces and changes in gravity. One of the key insights is that model nanofabrication techniques can be used to dramatically reduce the size of the torsion fiber, yielding higher sensitivity and at the same time a smaller form factor.


  • Gravimetry
  • Accelerometry
  • Force sensing
  • Study of fundamental problems in electromagnetism
  • Optomechanics


  • Compact
  • Monolithic
  • Highly sensitive
  • Chip-scale
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Richard Weite
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Aman Rajendra Agrawal
Dalziel Wilson
Jon Pratt
Stephan Schlamminger