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Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors Incorporating Langmuir-Blodgett Films

B. Holcroft, G. G. Roberts
Published 1988 · Materials Science

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Abstract Acoustoelectric devices offer many attractive features for applications as physical and chemical sensors. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) oscillators are of particular importance owing to their high sensitivity. This paper describes the use of Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films as gas absorbent layers on the surface of SAW devices. Areal densities of standard LB film forming materials were measured and found to agree with those obtained from pressure-area isotherms. Sensors incorporating ω-tricosenoic acid and docosylamine overlayers were examined and their responses to alkanoic acids reported. The room temperature chemiresponse of a SAW device coated with monolayers of tetra-4-tert butyl silicon phthalocyanine dichloride showed response and recovery times comparable with those reported for other phthalocyanine-based sensors operated at much higher temperatures. The detection limit of the LB film device was found to be 40 ppb NO2 in dry air at an operating frequency of 98.6 MHz and an ambient temperature of 22°C. The frequency change was shown to be entirely due to the mass of gas absorbed by the film.
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