The propagation of surface acoustic Love modes along ZnO/glass-based structures was modeled and analysed with the goal of designing a sensor able to detect changes in the environmental parameters, such as liquid viscosity changes and minute amounts of mass supported in the viscous liquid medium. Love mode propagation was modeled by numerically solving the system of coupled electro-mechanical field equations and Navier–Stokes equations. The phase and group velocities and the attenuation of the acoustic wave propagating along the 30° tilted c-axis ZnO/glass structure contacting a viscous non-conductive liquid were calculated for different ZnO guiding layer thicknesses, added mass thicknesses, and liquid viscosity and density. The three sensor responses, i.e., the wave phase and group velocity, and attenuation changes are calculated for different environmental parameters and related to the sensor velocity and attenuation sensitivities. The resulted sensitivities to liquid viscosity and added mass were optimized by adjusting the ZnO guiding layer thickness corresponding to a sensitivity peak. The present analysis is valuable for the manufacture and application of the ZnO-glass structure Love wave sensors for the detection of liquid properties, such as viscosity, density and mass anchored to the sensor surface.
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