Localized-mass detection based on thin-film bulk acoustic wave resonators (FBAR): Area and mass location aspects

Humberto Campanella, Arantxa Uranga, Albert Romano-Rodríguez, Josep Montserrat, Gabriel Abadal, Nuria Barniol, Jaume Esteve

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Localized-mass sensors using thin-film bulk acoustic resonators (FBAR) have been implemented for the study of sensitivity and possible configurations in biological applications. In a first experiment, a group of resonators are loaded with the same amount of mass but different contact areas, achieving responsivities as high as 10-19 g/Hz, and potential sensitivities in the order of 10-14 g. These numbers are at least one order of magnitude higher than those obtained for uniform thin-film loadings, although it is clear that sensitivity decreases with the area of the localized-mass. The current phase-noise levels and the quality factor of resonators would allow measuring frequency changes of 30 kHz - the minimum measured frequency shifting has been 500 kHz so far - due to a mass deposition of 9.0 × 10-15 g. In a second experiment, localized-loadings with the same mass are located in different positions of the top electrodes of the corresponding FBARs. It was found out that a location change of the mass in the electrode causes different magnitudes of frequency shifting. A discussion on these topics is opened, in order to define future applications and research lines concerning localized-mass sensing in FBARs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2008


  • BAW
  • FBAR
  • Mass sensors
  • Responsivity and sensitivity of sensors
  • Thin-film bulk acoustic wave resonators


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