In this paper, propagation of shear horizontal surface acoustic waves (SH-SAW) in nanoparticle layers was studied by means of dispersion acoustic theory in waveguides. These studies have allowed to obtainment of properties of nanoparticles layers, such as shear stiffness modulus. In addition, the numerical analysis of multi-guiding layers have allowed for the design of an innovative, simple and inexpensive gas sensor based on elastic properties variation of the nanoparticles layers due to their interaction with gases. Each sensor has been prepared by coating a uniform layer of nanostructured indium tin oxide (ITO) nanoparticle layer on a piezoelectric material (quartz), working as a guiding layer by confining SH-SAW energy and obtaining a Love-wave sensor. The perturbation produced in the elastic properties of the nanoparticle layer due to its interaction with gases induced a change in wave velocity that was detected by the frequency shift of an oscillator, working as a sensitive layer. Therefore, the Love-wave sensor was optimized with multi-guiding layers containing an intermediate guiding layer of SiO2. The Love-wave multi-guiding layer sensor was tested to different concentrations of toluene and benzene, measurements showed high sensitivity, short response time, and good reproducibility, and ability to detect very low concentrations of test gases, such 1 ppm of toluene and 25 ppm of benzene.
This research is supported by project DGAPA-PAPIIT TA-100118 from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the projects TEC2013-48147-C6 and TEC-2013-48147 (AEI/FEDER, EU) from Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain. J.R. Fragoso-Mora and F.A. Bahos thanks CONACYT for the predoctoral and master research Grant.