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Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2799; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122799

Quartz Crystal Microbalance Electronic Interfacing Systems: A Review

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, Qatar University, Doha 2713, Qatar
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract

Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) sensors are actively being implemented in various fields due to their compatibility with different operating conditions in gaseous/liquid mediums for a wide range of measurements. This trend has been matched by the parallel advancement in tailored electronic interfacing systems for QCM sensors. That is, selecting the appropriate electronic circuit is vital for accurate sensor measurements. Many techniques were developed over time to cover the expanding measurement requirements (e.g., accommodating highly-damping environments). This paper presents a comprehensive review of the various existing QCM electronic interfacing systems. Namely, impedance-based analysis, oscillators (conventional and lock-in based techniques), exponential decay methods and the emerging phase-mass based characterization. The aforementioned methods are discussed in detail and qualitatively compared in terms of their performance for various applications. In addition, some theoretical improvements and recommendations are introduced for adequate systems implementation. Finally, specific design considerations of high-temperature microbalance systems (e.g., GaPO4 crystals (GCM) and Langasite crystals (LCM)) are introduced, while assessing their overall system performance, stability and quality compared to conventional low-temperature applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: quartz crystal microbalance; BVD model; impedance analyzers; QCM oscillators; Phase-Locked-Loop; QCM-D; Contactless QCM; Phase-Mass QCM; high-temperature microbalance quartz crystal microbalance; BVD model; impedance analyzers; QCM oscillators; Phase-Locked-Loop; QCM-D; Contactless QCM; Phase-Mass QCM; high-temperature microbalance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Alassi, A.; Benammar, M.; Brett, D. Quartz Crystal Microbalance Electronic Interfacing Systems: A Review. Sensors 2017, 17, 2799.

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