Ultrahigh Frequency Shear-Horizontal Acoustic Wave Humidity Sensor with Ternary Nanocomposite Sensing Layer

Yanghui Liu, Jian Zhou*, Shenyu Wen, Yiqin Chen, Yongqing (Richard) Fu, Huigao Duan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology is promising for humidity monitoring due to its digital output, small size, large-scale production and wireless passive capability, but there are major challenges to achieve ultra-high sensitivity and fast responses using the conventional SAW devices. Herein, ultrahigh frequency (4.7GHz and 5.9GHz) shear-horizontal (SH) SAW devices were developed and a ternary nanocomposite strategy of graphene quantum dots/polyethyleneimine/silicon dioxide nanoparticles (GQDs-PEI-SiO2 NPs) was proposed as a sensitive layer to achieve ultrahigh sensitivity and fast response. This ternary material system was constructed by modifying the surface of SiO2 NPs with the PEI through an electrostatic force, and then adsorbing the GQDs onto the PEI through hydrogen bonds. Compared with the conventional low frequency SAW devices, the ultrahigh frequency SH-SAW devices showed exceptionally ultra-high sensitivity (2.4MHz/%RH, 1000 times as high as a 202MHz SAW device), fast response (20s/5s), excellent linearity, and good repeatability in the range of 20-80% RH. These superior performances are attributed to ultrahigh frequency of SAW devices, large specific surface areas of the nanocomposite (which exposed multiple hydrophilic groups in PEI and GQDs), and high vapor pressure of convex spherical curved liquid surface (which accelerated the adsorption and desorption of water molecules).
Original languageEnglish
Article number134289
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Early online date13 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2023

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