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Monolithic piezoelectric sensor (MPS) for sensing chemical, biochemical and physical measurands

United States Patent

March 7, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A piezoelectric sensor and assembly for measuring chemical, biochemical and physical measurands is disclosed. The piezoelectric sensor comprises a piezoelectric material, preferably a crystal, a common metal layer attached to the top surface of the piezoelectric crystal, and a pair of independent resonators placed in close proximity on the piezoelectric crystal such that an efficacious portion of acoustic energy couples between the resonators. The first independent resonator serves as an input port through which an input signal is converted into mechanical energy within the sensor and the second independent resonator serves an output port through which a filtered replica of the input signal is detected as an electrical signal. Both a time delay and an attenuation at a given frequency between the input signal and the filtered replica may be measured as a sensor output. The sensor may be integrated into an assembly with a series feedback oscillator and a radio frequency amplifier to process the desired sensor output. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, a selective film is disposed upon the grounded metal layer of the sensor and the resonators are encapsulated to isolate them from the measuring environment. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, more than two resonators are used in order to increase the resolution of the sensor.
Andle; Jeffrey C. (Bangor, ME), Lec; Ryszard M. (Orono, ME)
University of Maine (Orono, ME)
08/ 938,115
September 26, 1997
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-FG02-97PC82335 awarded by the United States Department of Energy, and Contract No. DAMD17-95C-5033 awarded by the United States Army .