Finite element method analysis of surface acoustic wave devices with microcavities for detection of liquids

Sukru U. Senveli, Onur Tigli

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This paper introduces the use of finite element method analysis tools to investigate the use of a Rayleigh type surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor to interrogate minute amounts of liquids trapped in microcavities placed on the delay line. Launched surface waves in the ST-X quartz substrate couple to the liquid and emit compressional waves. These waves form a resonant cavity condition and interfere with the surface waves in the substrate. Simulations show that the platform operates in a different mechanism than the conventional mass loading of SAW devices. Based on the proposed detection mechanism, it is able to distinguish between variations of 40% and 90% glycerin based on phase relations while using liquid volumes smaller than 10 pl. Results from shallow microcavities show high correlation with sound velocity parameter of the liquid whereas deeper microcavities display high sensitivities with respect to glycerin concentration. Simulated devices yield a maximum sensitivity of-0.77°/(% glycerin) for 16 μm wavelength operation with 8 μm deep, 24 μm wide, and 24 μm long microcavities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number244904
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 28 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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