A micromachined quartz resonator array for biosensing applications

Ping Kao, Steffen Doerner, Thomas Schneider, David Allara, Peter Hauptmann, Srinivas Tadigadapa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


An 8-pixel micromachined quartz crystal resonator array with a fundamental resonance frequency of 66 MHz has been designed, fabricated, and tested. A compact impedance-spectrum-analyzer electronic interface has been developed and combined with the quartz resonator array to form the biosensing system. The sensor array was calibrated using water-glycerol solutions, and the performance was found to be exactly as expected. Measurement of the crosstalk between the sensor pixels showed an isolation of ∼ 30 dB. Selective functionalization of the pixels was achieved through the use of aqueous 3, 3 ′-Dithiobis (sulfosuccinimidylpropionate) (DTSSP) molecules. The adsorption of avidin on DTSSP gave a frequency signal of 60 kHz in comparison to unfunctionalized pixels. The specific adsorption of avidin on functionalized pixels was confirmed through fluorescence microscopy. Comparing the performance of the micromachined quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) with a commercial 5-MHz device, we found that the micromachined QCM has a 4.25 times higher signal-to-noise ratio. Based on the measurement of the noise and using three times the frequency noise as the limit for the detection of avidin molecules, we expect to resolve a minimum of ∼1/960 of a monolayer of avidin corresponding to an aerial mass density resolution of 0.7 ng/cm2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-530
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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