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Sub-picogram resolution mass sensing in a liquid environment using low-loss quartz crystal microbalance

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2 Author(s)
Kirkendall, C.R. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA ; Jae Wan Kwon

This paper presents a significantly improved quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) with sub-picogram mass sensing resolution in liquid while maintaining a high quality factor (Q) without much loss. Our design removes the liquid damping effect through an acoustic loss isolation layer (vacuum) and a sensing diaphragm, which reduce the direct contact area at the interface between the QCM and liquid. The vacuum-gapped QCM turns out to have a very high resonant Q in liquid of 196,340, only a 13.2% reduction from the Q in air. The device sensitivity is 6 cm2/g, corresponding to a remarkably high mass resolution of 90 fg/cm2 in liquid.

Published in:

Sensors, 2010 IEEE

Date of Conference:

1-4 Nov. 2010