Vacuum-deposited wave-guiding layers on STW resonators based on LiTaO(3) substrate as love wave sensors for chemical and biochemical sensing in liquids.Ultrasonics. 2010 May; 50(6):606-12.U
A promising approach to apply the Love wave concept to commercially available low-loss surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices of the type Murata SAF 380 is presented. Thin wave-guiding layers of variable thickness are coated on the piezoelectric substrate of the devices. Two different layer materials were used: sputtered SiO(2) and a new polymer in this field, paryleneC (poly-[2-chloro-p-xylylene]). Insertion loss, resonance frequency, frequency changes during protein precipitation and noise of the devices are discussed as a function of the thickness of the wave-guiding layer. It is demonstrated that the application of an optimized wave-guiding layer increases the sensitivity. When using SiO(2) as wave-guiding layer, an optimum layer thickness of 4 microm leads to a detection limit of 1.7 pg/mm(2). Therefore, the detection limit is improved by factor 7.7 as compared to uncoated SAW devices. Parylene-coated devices reach a detection limit of 2.9 pg/mm(2) at an optimum layer thickness of 0.5 microm. This corresponds to an improvement by factor 4.3. As the SAW devices used in this study are commercially available at low costs, applying appropriate wave-guiding layers permits an application as chemical or biochemical sensors with excellent sensitivities. Moreover, parylene-coated devices combine the sensitivity increase by excitation of Love waves with an excellent protective effect against corrosive attacks by the surrounding medium. Therefore, these sensors are most suitable for biosensing in conducting buffer solutions.