Document Type


Publication Date

August 2009

Patent Number



A thickness shear mode (TSM) sensor having a visco-elastic polymer coating and a fundamental frequency greater than 20 MHz useful for organic vapor or gas detection. The TSM quartz resonators at a fundamental frequency of 96 MHz were evaluated for their performance in organic vapor sensing applications and results were compared with the performance of 10 and 20 MHz resonators. These devices were produced by chemical milling of AT-cut quartz. Seven test organic vapors were utilized at concentrations ranging from 0.2 volume percent to 13.7 volume percent in the vapor phase. In all cases, the rubbery polymer polyisobutylene was used as a sensing layer. Detailed results for various sensor parameters such as sensitivity, baseline noise and drift, limit of detection, response and recovery times, dynamic range, and repeatability for the 96 MHz device were compared with those for 10 and 20 MHz devices. The test case of benzene/polyisobutylene was chosen to make these detailed comparisons. The 96 MHz device was found to be more sensitive than the lower frequency devices. Device sensitivity was dependent on the benzene concentration. Response and recovery times were smaller for the 96 MHz device. Response times decreased with analyte concentration. Sensor response was in reasonable agreement with the perturbation model of Sauerbrey at lower concentrations and deviated at the higher concentrations for the 96 MHz device. Higher frequency TSM devices can be very useful as organic vapor sensors both in detection and process monitoring applications. These devices have the advantages of simpler electronics, easier design and fabrication, well-developed models and good baseline stability when compared to other acoustic wave devices.

Application Number



University of South Florida

Filing Date


Primary/U.S. Class