Deep Sub-micro mol·mol-1 Water-Vapor Measurement by Dual-Ball SAW Sensors for Temperature Compensation

N. Takeda, T. Oizumi, T. Tsuji, Shingo Akao, K. Takayanagi, N. Nakaso, Kazushi Yamanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A collimated surface acoustic wave (SAW) circles around the equator of a sphere hundreds of times. Because of the long distance travel of the collimated SAW, a small change in the SAW propagation caused by the environment of the sphere can be accumulated as a measurable range in amplitude and/or in delay time. So, a spherical SAW device enables highly sensitive water-vapor measurements. In this paper, deep sub μmol·mol-1 water-vapor detection by 1 mm diameter quartz crystal ball SAW sensors is described. To measure such a low water-vapor concentration in real time, it is necessary to compensate the temperature dependence of the ball SAW sensor, which is about 20 ppm·∘C-1 in delay time change. A dual-frequency burst analog detector was developed for the temperature compensation in real time. By using a harmonic SAW sensor, which was excited by 80 MHz and 240 MHz at the same time, it was confirmed that the delay time drift for a temperature range of 21.0∘C±1.0∘C became less than 0.05 ppm in delay time change. By using dual-ball SAW sensors (which included a 150 MHz sensor with a water-vapor sensitive layer and a 240 MHz sensor as a reference), water-vapor concentrations from 0.1 μmol·mol-1 to 5μmol·mol-1 were successfully measured. It appears that the delay time change is proportional to the square root of the water-vapor concentration. The detection limit determined by the electrical noise of the system was estimated at 0.01μmol·mol-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3440-3452
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Thermophysics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1


  • Dual-ball SAW sensor
  • Humidity
  • Hygrometer
  • Trace moisture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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