Acoustic devices have found wide applications in chemical and biosensing fields owing to their high sensitivity, ruggedness, miniaturized design and integration ability with on-field electronic systems. One of the potential advantages of using these devices are their label-free detection mechanism since mass is the fundamental property of any target analyte which is monitored by these devices. Herein, we provide a concise overview of high frequency acoustic transducers such as quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), surface acoustic wave (SAW) and film bulk acoustic resonators (FBARs) to compare their working principles, resonance frequencies, selection of piezoelectric materials for their fabrication, temperature-frequency dependency and operation in the liquid phase. The selected sensor applications of these high frequency acoustic transducers are discussed primarily focusing on the two main sensing domains, i.e., biosensing for working in liquids and gas/vapor phase sensing. Furthermore, the sensor performance of high frequency acoustic transducers in selected cases is compared with well-established analytical tools such as liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS), gas chromatographic (GC) analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods. Finally, a general comparison of these acoustic devices is conducted to discuss their strengths, limitations, and commercial adaptability thus, to select the most suitable transducer for a particular chemical/biochemical sensing domain.
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