A novel surface acoustic wave sensor with embedded microcavities for size differentiation of solid microparticles

Sukru U. Senveli, Onur Tigli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Here we present a novel method for sensing of solid microparticles using surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices. In contrast to the standard mass loaded delay line approach, microcavities with varying geometrical shapes and sizes are formed between SAW interdigitated transducer (IDT) pairs. The system operation relies on the resonance condition occurring inside the microcavity through coupling of Rayleigh waves to the sample, and the output phase angle is used for obtaining measurement results. We show through measurements that it is possible to interact with polystyrene solid microbeads trapped inside the microcavity and extract information about the size of the sample. Experimental results are compared and verified with finite element method (FEM) simulations. In essence, this novel approach resulted in a micro acoustic microscopy device with the capability of analyzing sample volumes less than 10 pL in a non-invasive manner. Experimental phase shifts of 0.14°±0.05°, 0.81°±0.26°, and 3.54°±0.49° were obtained in rectangular microcavities for 10 μm, 15 μm, and 20 μm microbeads, respectively The proposed system was designed, simulated, fabricated, and tested successfully.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE SENSORS 2014, Proceedings
EditorsFrancisco J. Arregui
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781479901616
StatePublished - Dec 12 2014
Event13th IEEE SENSORS Conference, SENSORS 2014 - Valencia, Spain
Duration: Nov 2 2014Nov 5 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Sensors
ISSN (Print)1930-0395
ISSN (Electronic)2168-9229


Other13th IEEE SENSORS Conference, SENSORS 2014


  • Acoustic microscopy
  • Rayleigh waves
  • Surface acoustic waves (SAW)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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