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Special Issue "Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Jack (Jikui) Luo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, The University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton, BL3 5AB, UK
Tel. +44 1204 903523; Fax: +44 1204 399074
Interests: nanomaterials and nanodevices, physical and biochemical sensors, microactuators, microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip, flexible electronics and energy harvesting technologies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Weipeng Xuan
E-Mail
Guest Editor
College of Information Science & Electronic Engineering, Zhejiang University, NO.38, Zheda Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou 310027, China
Interests: Microsensors based on surface acoustic wave and bulk acoustic wave device; sensor array
Prof. Dr. Richard Yong Qing Fu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Maths, Physics and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering & Environment Room E409, Ellison Building, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK
Tel. +44 1912 274662
Interests: thin film technologies and surface coatings for precision engineering (hard coating and nanocomposite coating, wear/friction/corrosion); functionalization (microelectronics, MEMS, optical and biological applications); sensing (gas, environment and biosensor) and energy (solar cell and battery) applications; smart materials, shape memory and piezoelectric materials and films; biomedical microdevices, lab-on-chip; micromechanics, biosensor and microfluidics; nanotechnology, nanowires, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS); shape memory polymer nanocomposites and microactuators; nanotechnology, biomaterials, microelectronic materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Acoustic wave resonators-based sensors are one of the highly-sensitive transducers that have found widespread applications in daily life, industries and in the environment. They have been used to sense changes in physical parameters such as humidity, torque, and pressure to detect traces of chemicals—such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen— for environmental monitoring and process control among others, and to detect traces of biological molecules—such as antibodies and bacteria—for diagnosis of diseases and viruses, in order that preventive measures can be taken at an early stage. Owing to their unique properties and multiple sensing capabilities, they will undoubtedly play an important role in the era of Internet of Things (IoT). The aim of this Special Issue is to provide an opportunity for researchers to publish their latest research and developments related to acoustic wave resonators and sensors, including physical, chemical and biochemical sensing, advances in design, modelling, fabrication, testing and characterization of high performance acoustic wave sensors, circuit design, signal processing, new materials and fabrication technologies for advanced acoustic wave sensors.

Prof. Dr. Jack (Jikui) Luo
Dr. Weipeng Xuan
Dr. Richard Y. Q. Fu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Quartz crystal microbalancer, surface acoustic wave, bulk acoustic wave
  • New types of acoustic wave devices, design, modelling and characterisation
  • New types of materials and advanced fabrication technologies
  • Physical sensors
  • Chemical and biological sensors
  • Wireless sensing, RFID
  • Sensor array for accurate sensing
  • Multiple-parameter sensing
  • Advanced circuit designs for testing and sensing
  • Signal processing for acoustic wave sensors

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Resonance Frequency Readout Circuit for a 900 MHz SAW Device
Sensors 2017, 17(9), 2131; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17092131 - 15 Sep 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
A monolithic resonance frequency readout circuit with high resolution and short measurement time is presented for a 900 MHz RF surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor. The readout circuit is composed of a fractional-N phase-locked loop (PLL) as the stimulus source to the SAW [...] Read more.
A monolithic resonance frequency readout circuit with high resolution and short measurement time is presented for a 900 MHz RF surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor. The readout circuit is composed of a fractional-N phase-locked loop (PLL) as the stimulus source to the SAW device and a phase-based resonance frequency detecting circuit using successive approximation (SAR). A new resonance frequency searching strategy has been proposed based on the fact that the SAW device phase-frequency response crosses zero monotonically around the resonance frequency. A dedicated instant phase difference detecting circuit is adopted to facilitate the fast SAR operation for resonance frequency searching. The readout circuit has been implemented in 180 nm CMOS technology with a core area of 3.24 mm2. In the experiment, it works with a 900 MHz SAW resonator with a quality factor of Q = 130. Experimental results show that the readout circuit consumes 7 mW power from 1.6 V supply. The frequency resolution is 733 Hz, and the relative accuracy is 0.82 ppm, and it takes 0.48 ms to complete one measurement. Compared to the previous results in the literature, this work has achieved the shortest measurement time with a trade-off between measurement accuracy and measurement time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Validation of a 150 MHz HFFQCM Sensor for Bio-Sensing Applications
Sensors 2017, 17(9), 2057; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17092057 - 08 Sep 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
Acoustic wave resonators have become suitable devices for a broad range of sensing applications due to their sensitivity, low cost, and integration capability, which are all factors that meet the requirements for the resonators to be used as sensing elements for portable point [...] Read more.
Acoustic wave resonators have become suitable devices for a broad range of sensing applications due to their sensitivity, low cost, and integration capability, which are all factors that meet the requirements for the resonators to be used as sensing elements for portable point of care (PoC) platforms. In this work, the design, characterization, and validation of a 150 MHz high fundamental frequency quartz crystal microbalance (HFF-QCM) sensor for bio-sensing applications are introduced. Finite element method (FEM) simulations of the proposed design are in good agreement with the electrical characterization of the manufactured resonators. The sensor is also validated for bio-sensing applications. For this purpose, a specific sensor cell was designed and manufactured that addresses the critical requirements associated with this type of sensor and application. Due to the small sensing area and the sensor’s fragility, these requirements include a low-volume flow chamber in the nanoliter range, and a system approach that provides the appropriate pressure control for assuring liquid confinement while maintaining the integrity of the sensor with a good base line stability and easy sensor replacement. The sensor characteristics make it suitable for consideration as the elemental part of a sensor matrix in a multichannel platform for point of care applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
A Semi-Analytical Solution for the Thickness-Vibration of Centrally Partially-Electroded Circular AT-Cut Quartz Resonators
Sensors 2017, 17(8), 1820; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081820 - 07 Aug 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Vibration frequencies and modes for the thickness-shear vibrations of infinite partially-electroded circular AT-cut quartz plates are obtained by solving the two-dimensional (2D) scalar differential equation derived by Tiersten and Smythe. The Mathieu and modified Mathieu equations are derived from the governing equation using [...] Read more.
Vibration frequencies and modes for the thickness-shear vibrations of infinite partially-electroded circular AT-cut quartz plates are obtained by solving the two-dimensional (2D) scalar differential equation derived by Tiersten and Smythe. The Mathieu and modified Mathieu equations are derived from the governing equation using the coordinate transform and the collocation method is used to deal with the boundary conditions. Solutions of the resonant frequencies and trapped modes are validated by those results obtained from COMSOL software. The current study provides a theoretical way for figuring out the vibration analysis of circular quartz resonators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Pinhole Zone Plate Lens for Ultrasound Focusing
Sensors 2017, 17(7), 1690; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17071690 - 22 Jul 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
The focusing capabilities of a pinhole zone plate lens are presented and compared with those of a conventional Fresnel zone plate lens. The focusing properties are examined both experimentally and numerically. The results confirm that a pinhole zone plate lens can be an [...] Read more.
The focusing capabilities of a pinhole zone plate lens are presented and compared with those of a conventional Fresnel zone plate lens. The focusing properties are examined both experimentally and numerically. The results confirm that a pinhole zone plate lens can be an alternative to a Fresnel lens. A smooth filtering effect is created in pinhole zone plate lenses, giving rise to a reduction of the side lobes around the principal focus associated with the conventional Fresnel zone plate lens. The manufacturing technique of the pinhole zone plate lens allows the designing and constructing of lenses for different focal lengths quickly and economically and without the need to drill new plates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Gas Sensor Arrays Based on High-Q SAM-Modified Piezotransduced Single-Crystal Silicon Bulk Acoustic Resonators
Sensors 2017, 17(7), 1507; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17071507 - 26 Jun 2017
Abstract
This paper demonstrates a novel micro-size (120 μm × 200 μm) piezoelectric gas sensor based on a piezotransduced single-crystal silicon bulk acoustic resonator (PSBAR). The PSBARs operate at 102 MHz and possess high Q values (about 2000), ensuring the stability of the measurement. [...] Read more.
This paper demonstrates a novel micro-size (120 μm × 200 μm) piezoelectric gas sensor based on a piezotransduced single-crystal silicon bulk acoustic resonator (PSBAR). The PSBARs operate at 102 MHz and possess high Q values (about 2000), ensuring the stability of the measurement. A corresponding gas sensor array is fabricated by integrating three different self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) modified PSBARs. The limit of detection (LOD) for ethanol vapor is demonstrated to be as low as 25 ppm with a sensitivity of about 1.5 Hz/ppm. Two sets of identification code bars based on the sensitivities and the adsorption energy constants are utilized to successfully discriminate isopropanol (IPA), ethanol, hexane and heptane vapors at low and high gas partial pressures, respectively. The proposed sensor array shows the potential to form a portable electronic nose system for volatile organic compound (VOC) differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors for Hydrogen and Deuterium Detection
Sensors 2017, 17(6), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17061417 - 16 Jun 2017
Cited by 12
Abstract
A delay-line-type surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor based on a zinc oxide (ZnO) sensitive layer was developed. Two types of sensitive layers were obtained: ZnO nanowires and ZnO thin films, both deposited using laser methods (VLS-PLD and PLD, respectively) onto quartz substrates. The [...] Read more.
A delay-line-type surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor based on a zinc oxide (ZnO) sensitive layer was developed. Two types of sensitive layers were obtained: ZnO nanowires and ZnO thin films, both deposited using laser methods (VLS-PLD and PLD, respectively) onto quartz substrates. The responses of sensors with two different nanowire lengths (300 and 600 nm) were compared with those of sensors with thin films of different thicknesses (ca. 100 and 200 nm) to different concentrations of hydrogen and deuterium. The experimental results revealed a high response at low concentrations and a rapid saturated response for nanowires, but a low response at low concentrations and a linear response to much higher gas concentrations for the thin-film-based SAW sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Study on Impact Acoustic—Visual Sensor-Based Sorting of ELV Plastic Materials
Sensors 2017, 17(6), 1325; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17061325 - 08 Jun 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
This paper concentrates on a study of a novel multi-sensor aided method by using acoustic and visual sensors for detection, recognition and separation of End-of Life vehicles’ (ELVs) plastic materials, in order to optimize the recycling rate of automotive shredder residues (ASRs). Sensor-based [...] Read more.
This paper concentrates on a study of a novel multi-sensor aided method by using acoustic and visual sensors for detection, recognition and separation of End-of Life vehicles’ (ELVs) plastic materials, in order to optimize the recycling rate of automotive shredder residues (ASRs). Sensor-based sorting technologies have been utilized for material recycling for the last two decades. One of the problems still remaining results from black and dark dyed plastics which are very difficult to recognize using visual sensors. In this paper a new multi-sensor technology for black plastic recognition and sorting by using impact resonant acoustic emissions (AEs) and laser triangulation scanning was introduced. A pilot sorting system which consists of a 3-dimensional visual sensor and an acoustic sensor was also established; two kinds commonly used vehicle plastics, polypropylene (PP) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and two kinds of modified vehicle plastics, polypropylene/ethylene-propylene-diene-monomer (PP-EPDM) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene/polycarbonate (ABS-PC) were tested. In this study the geometrical features of tested plastic scraps were measured by the visual sensor, and their corresponding impact acoustic emission (AE) signals were acquired by the acoustic sensor. The signal processing and feature extraction of visual data as well as acoustic signals were realized by virtual instruments. Impact acoustic features were recognized by using FFT based power spectral density analysis. The results shows that the characteristics of the tested PP and ABS plastics were totally different, but similar to their respective modified materials. The probability of scrap material recognition rate, i.e., the theoretical sorting efficiency between PP and PP-EPDM, could reach about 50%, and between ABS and ABS-PC it could reach about 75% with diameters ranging from 14 mm to 23 mm, and with exclusion of abnormal impacts, the actual separation rates were 39.2% for PP, 41.4% for PP/EPDM scraps as well as 62.4% for ABS, and 70.8% for ABS/PC scraps. Within the diameter range of 8-13 mm, only 25% of PP and 27% of PP/EPDM scraps, as well as 43% of ABS, and 47% of ABS/PC scraps were finally separated. This research proposes a new approach for sensor-aided automatic recognition and sorting of black plastic materials, it is an effective method for ASR reduction and recycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Room-Temperature Ammonia Sensor Based on ZnO Nanorods Deposited on ST-Cut Quartz Surface Acoustic Wave Devices
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051142 - 17 May 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
Using a seed layer-free hydrothermal method, ZnO nanorods (NRs) were deposited on ST-cut quartz surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices for ammonia sensing at room temperature. For a comparison, a ZnO film layer with a thickness of 30 nm was also coated onto an [...] Read more.
Using a seed layer-free hydrothermal method, ZnO nanorods (NRs) were deposited on ST-cut quartz surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices for ammonia sensing at room temperature. For a comparison, a ZnO film layer with a thickness of 30 nm was also coated onto an ST-cut quartz SAW device using a sol-gel and spin-coating technique. The ammonia sensing results showed that the sensitivity, repeatability and stability of the ZnO NR-coated SAW device were superior to those of the ZnO film-coated SAW device due to the large surface-to-volume ratio of the ZnO NRs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Noise Attenuation Performance of a Helmholtz Resonator Array Consist of Several Periodic Parts
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051029 - 04 May 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
The acoustic performance of the ducted Helmholtz resonator (HR) system is analyzed theoretically and numerically. The periodic HR array could provide a wider noise attenuation band due to the coupling of the Bragg reflection and the HR’s resonance. However, the transmission loss achieved [...] Read more.
The acoustic performance of the ducted Helmholtz resonator (HR) system is analyzed theoretically and numerically. The periodic HR array could provide a wider noise attenuation band due to the coupling of the Bragg reflection and the HR’s resonance. However, the transmission loss achieved by a periodic HR array is mainly dependent on the number of HRs, which restricted by the available space in the longitudinal direction of the duct. The full distance along the longitudinal direction of the duct for HR’s installation is sometimes unavailable in practical applications. Only several pieces of the duct may be available for the installation. It is therefore that this paper concentrates on the acoustic performance of a HR array consisting of several periodic parts. The transfer matrix method and the Bragg theory are used to investigate wave propagation in the duct. The theoretical prediction results show good agreement with the Finite Element Method (FEM) simulation results. The present study provides a practical way in noise control application of ventilation ductwork system by utilizing the advantage of periodicity with the limitation of available completed installation length for HRs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
ZnO Film Bulk Acoustic Resonator for the Kinetics Study of Human Blood Coagulation
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1015; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051015 - 03 May 2017
Cited by 13
Abstract
Miniaturized and rapid blood coagulation assay technologies are critical in many clinical settings. In this paper, we present a ZnO film bulk acoustic resonator for the kinetic analysis of human blood coagulation. The resonator operated in thickness shear resonance mode at 1.4 GHz. [...] Read more.
Miniaturized and rapid blood coagulation assay technologies are critical in many clinical settings. In this paper, we present a ZnO film bulk acoustic resonator for the kinetic analysis of human blood coagulation. The resonator operated in thickness shear resonance mode at 1.4 GHz. When the resonator contacted the liquid environment, the viscous loading effect was considered as the additional resistance and inductance in the equivalent circuits, resulting in a linear relationship with a slope of approximately −217 kHz/cP between the liquid viscosity and the frequency of the resonator. The downshift of the resonant frequency and the viscosity change during the blood coagulation were correlated to monitor the coagulation process. The sigmoidal trend was observed in the frequency response for the blood samples activated by thromboplastin and calcium ions. The coagulation kinetics involving sequential phases of steady reaction, growth and saturation were revealed through the time-dependent frequency profiles. The enzymatic cascade time, the coagulation rate, the coagulation time and the clot degree were provided by fitting the time-frequency curves. The prothrombin times were compared with the results measured by a standard coagulometer and show a good correlation. Thanks to the excellent potential of integration, miniaturization and the availability of direct digital signals, the film bulk acoustic resonator has promising application for both clinical and personal use coagulation testing technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Refractive Index Sensor Based on Fano Resonances in Metal-Insulator-Metal Waveguides Coupled with Resonators
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17040784 - 06 Apr 2017
Cited by 36
Abstract
A surface plasmon polariton refractive index sensor based on Fano resonances in metal–insulator–metal (MIM) waveguides coupled with rectangular and ring resonators is proposed and numerically investigated using a finite element method. Fano resonances are observed in the transmission spectra, which result from the [...] Read more.
A surface plasmon polariton refractive index sensor based on Fano resonances in metal–insulator–metal (MIM) waveguides coupled with rectangular and ring resonators is proposed and numerically investigated using a finite element method. Fano resonances are observed in the transmission spectra, which result from the coupling between the narrow-band spectral response in the ring resonator and the broadband spectral response in the rectangular resonator. Results are analyzed using coupled-mode theory based on transmission line theory. The coupled mode theory is employed to explain the Fano resonance effect, and the analytical result is in good agreement with the simulation result. The results show that with an increase in the refractive index of the fill dielectric material in the slot of the system, the Fano resonance peak exhibits a remarkable red shift, and the highest value of sensitivity (S) is 1125 nm/RIU, RIU means refractive index unit. Furthermore, the coupled MIM waveguide structure can be integrated with other photonic devices at the chip scale. The results can provide a guide for future applications of this structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Theoretical Study of Monolayer and Double-Layer Waveguide Love Wave Sensors for Achieving High Sensitivity
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17030653 - 22 Mar 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
Love wave sensors have been widely used for sensing applications. In this work, we introduce the theoretical analysis of the monolayer and double-layer waveguide Love wave sensors. The velocity, particle displacement and energy distribution of Love waves were analyzed. Using the variations of [...] Read more.
Love wave sensors have been widely used for sensing applications. In this work, we introduce the theoretical analysis of the monolayer and double-layer waveguide Love wave sensors. The velocity, particle displacement and energy distribution of Love waves were analyzed. Using the variations of the energy repartition, the sensitivity coefficients of Love wave sensors were calculated. To achieve a higher sensitivity coefficient, a thin gold layer was added as the second waveguide on top of the silicon dioxide (SiO2) waveguide–based, 36 degree–rotated, Y-cut, X-propagating lithium tantalate (36° YX LiTaO3) Love wave sensor. The Love wave velocity was significantly reduced by the added gold layer, and the flow of wave energy into the waveguide layer from the substrate was enhanced. By using the double-layer structure, almost a 72-fold enhancement in the sensitivity coefficient was achieved compared to the monolayer structure. Additionally, the thickness of the SiO2 layer was also reduced with the application of the gold layer, resulting in easier device fabrication. This study allows for the possibility of designing and realizing robust Love wave sensors with high sensitivity and a low limit of detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
SAW Sensors for Chemical Vapors and Gases
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17040801 - 08 Apr 2017
Cited by 51
Abstract
Surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology provides a sensitive platform for sensing chemicals in gaseous and fluidic states with the inherent advantages of passive and wireless operation. In this review, we provide a general overview on the fundamental aspects and some major advances of [...] Read more.
Surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology provides a sensitive platform for sensing chemicals in gaseous and fluidic states with the inherent advantages of passive and wireless operation. In this review, we provide a general overview on the fundamental aspects and some major advances of Rayleigh wave-based SAW sensors in sensing chemicals in a gaseous phase. In particular, we review the progress in general understanding of the SAW chemical sensing mechanism, optimization of the sensor characteristics, and the development of the sensors operational at different conditions. Based on previous publications, we suggest some appropriate sensing approaches for particular applications and identify new opportunities and needs for additional research in this area moving into the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic Wave Resonator-Based Sensors)
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