Multifrequency characterization of viscoelastic polymers and vapor sensing based on SAW oscillators.Ultrasonics. 2009 Dec; 49(8):638-45.U
Simplified relations for the changes in SAW velocity and attenuation due to thin polymer coatings and vapor sorption are presented by making analytic approximations to the complex theoretical model developed earlier by Martin et al. [Anal. Chem. 66 (14) (1994) 2201-2219]. The approximate velocity relation is accurate within 4% for the film thicknesses up to 20% of the acoustic wavelength in the polymer film, and is useful for analyzing the mass loading, swelling and viscoelastic effects in SAW vapor sensors. The approximate attenuation relation is accurate within 20% for very thin films, (less than 2% of the acoustic wavelength in the film). Based on these relations, a new procedure for determination of polymer viscoelastic properties is described that exploits the frequency dependence of the velocity and attenuation perturbations, and employs multifrequency measurement on the same SAW platform. Expressions for individual contributions from the mass loading, film swelling and viscoelastic effects in SAW vapor sensors are derived, and their implications for the sensor design and operation are discussed. Also, a new SAW comb filter design is proposed that offers possibility for multimode SAW oscillator operation over a decade of frequency variation, and illustrates feasibility for experimental realization of wide bandwidth multifrequency SAW platforms.