Extending the Lifetime of Resonant Atmospheric Particulate Mass Sensors With Solvent Rinses

06 Apr 2018

The cleaning of a collection-based sensor extends its lifetime and reduces its effective cost. Existing cleaning regimes for silicon-based devices typically require access to large laboratory equipment. A simple cleaning method based on solvent rinses is presented here for the application of microresonator atmospheric particulate mass sensors. The suggested approach is intended for scenarios with limited access to laboratory equipment. Two piezoelectric resonator topologies (in-plane bulk mode and out-of-plane flexural) collected particles via impaction for an hour before rinsing. The solvent rinses reset the resonant frequency and quality factor of each resonator to within 0.4% and 10% of their original values, respectively. Subsequent mass collections were largely repeatable despite fluctuations in particle concentration and deposition location. The presented method provides a straightforward but effective cleaning method for soluble particulate removal. A physical cleaning method is required after substantial insoluble particle adsorption.