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An Overview of High Frequency Acoustic Sensors—QCMs, SAWs and FBARs—Chemical and Biochemical Applications

1
Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Währinger Straße 38, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute of Chemistry, University of the Punjab, Quaid-i-Azam Campus, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
3
Department of Chemistry, College of Science, University of Hafr Al Batin, Hafr Al Batin 39524, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Dedicated to Gert Mages on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Sensors 2019, 19(20), 4395; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19204395 (registering DOI)
Received: 13 September 2019 / Revised: 2 October 2019 / Accepted: 6 October 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Acoustic Wave and Bulk Acoustic Wave Sensors 2019)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: quartz crystal microbalance (QCM); surface acoustic wave (SAW); film bulk acoustic wave resonator (FBAR); chemical sensors; biochemical sensors quartz crystal microbalance (QCM); surface acoustic wave (SAW); film bulk acoustic wave resonator (FBAR); chemical sensors; biochemical sensors
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Mujahid, A.; Afzal, A.; Dickert, F.L. An Overview of High Frequency Acoustic Sensors—QCMs, SAWs and FBARs—Chemical and Biochemical Applications. Sensors 2019, 19, 4395.

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