An embedded microchannel in a MEMS plate resonator for ultrasensitive mass sensing in liquid†
A mass sensor innovative concept is presented here, based on a hollow plate Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) resonator. This approach consists in running a solution through an embedded microchannel, while the plate resonator is actuated according to a Lamé-mode by electrostatic coupling in dry environment. The experimental results have shown a clear relationship between the measured shift of the resonance frequency and the sample solution density. Additionally, depending on the channel design and the solution properties, the quality factor (Q-factor) was noticed maintaining its level and even substantial improvement in particular cases. Resonators demonstrate resonance frequencies close to 78 MHz and Q-factor of a few thousands for liquid phase detection operating at ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure. Frequency fluctuations study revealed a 13 Hz instability level, equivalent to 1.5 fg in mass. Using a fully electronic readout configuration, a mass responsivity of ca. 850 fg kHz−1 was monitored.