FEM simulation study on mass loading sensitivity of high aspect ratio nano-pillar sensing medium in SAW sensors

N. Ramakrishnan, Harshal B. Nemade, Roy Paily Palathinkal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mass loading effect of a thin film is one of the prime sensing principles in surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors. Recently we reported mass loading effect of a high aspect ratio resonant structure such as a nano-pillar attached normal to the surface of the SAW resonator. When resonance frequency of the pillar is closer to SAW resonator frequency the resonance frequency shift caused by mass loading of the pillars tends to a negligible value. The high aspect ratio structure and the SAW resonator together in unison form a system of coupled resonator. More recently we reported employing high aspect ratio nano-pillars as sensing medium to design high sensitive SAW sensors such as a SAW hydrogen sensor. In this paper we present finite element method (FEM) simulation study of a SAW resonator with nano-pillars as sensing medium and report the significance of cross-section of resonant pillars on sensitivity. The simulation results shows the mass loading sensitivity of the smaller cross-section pillars are significantly higher. Further the results show that if the pillars cross-section is in nano scale, there is more chance of positive resonance shift at smaller heights and the sensitivity is higher for small change in dimensions of the pillar.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology - Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Advanced Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology
EditorsP.K. Giri, D.K. Goswami, A. Perumal
Place of PublicationBerlin Germany
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783642342158
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternational Conference on Advanced Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology 2011 - Guwahati, India
Duration: 8 Dec 201110 Dec 2011
Conference number: 2nd

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Physics
ISSN (Print)0930-8989
ISSN (Electronic)1867-4941


ConferenceInternational Conference on Advanced Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology 2011
Abbreviated titleICANN 2011


  • FEM
  • Nano-pillars
  • SAW sensor
  • Sensitivity

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