A lateral-field-excited LiTaO3 high-frequency bulk acoustic wave sensor.IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2009 Apr; 56(4):779-87.IT
The most popular bulk acoustic wave (BAW) sensor is the quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), which has electrodes on both the top and bottom surfaces of an AT-cut quartz wafer. In the QCM, the exciting electric field is primarily perpendicular to the crystal surface, resulting in a thickness field excitation (TFE) of a resonant temperature compensated transverse shear mode (TSM). The TSM, however, can also be excited by lateral field excitation (LFE) in which electrodes are placed on one side of the wafer leaving a bare sensing surface exposed directly to a liquid or a chemi/bio selective layer allowing the detection of both mechanical and electrical property changes caused by a target analyte. The use of LFE sensors has motivated an investigation to identify other piezoelectric crystal orientations that can support temperature-compensated TSMs and operate efficiently at high frequencies resulting in increased sensitivity. In this work, theoretical search and experimental measurements are performed to identify the existence of high-frequency temperature-compensated TSMs in LiTaO(3). Prototype LFE LiTaO(3) sensors were fabricated and found to operate at frequencies in excess of 1 GHz and sensitively detect viscosity, conductivity, and dielectric constant changes in liquids.