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Easton Cooper
Easton Cooper

Acoustic Wave Sensors: Theory, Design, Physic...


Temperature monitoring is essential for electrical equipment and mechanical systems; thus various temperature sensors, such as semiconductor oxide sensors, optical fiber sensors and infrared sensors, have been widely used in industry1,2,3,4. However, current temperature sensing technologies have serious limitations associated with power supply and data transmission. Passive operation and wireless interrogation are often required in many hazardous environments, such as moving machinery, contaminated areas, chemical or vacuum chambers and high voltage plants. In these applications, acoustic waves, especially surface acoustic wave (SAW) based sensors have significant advantages as they provide capabilities of wireless readout, battery-free operation, real-time and remote data communication5,6,7,8,9,10. They also have other merits including high accuracy, low or no maintenance, light weight, reliability and robustness.




Acoustic Wave Sensors: Theory, Design, Physic...


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In order to use an acoustic wave (for example, SAW) sensor for temperature sensing, one of the key parameters is the temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF), defined as rate of frequency change with temperature relative to a resonant frequency. The TCF values of SAW devices are linked with their thermal stability9,11. Most materials have negative TCFs, which means the frequency of the SAW device decreases with an increase in temperature. However, for most sensing applications, such as those for gas, pressure, humidity, chemicals and biosensing, thermal stability is highly desired. Therefore, most researchers use techniques to reduce the TCF values or achieve a temperature compensation during sensing. This can be easily implemented using an additional compensation layer such as silicon dioxide12,13,14,15 or alumina16,17, both of which have positive TCFs. In contrast, for temperature sensing applications, a large absolute value of the TCF with a good linearity is desired. However, so far, there are few reports on how to maximize the TCF values by choosing different materials and/or designing various multilayer structures.


Surface Acoustic Waves (SAWs) are elastic waves travelling along the surface of solid piezoelectric materials with amplitude that decays exponentially with depth. Using an Interdigital Transducer (IDT), these waves can be demonstrated and reproduced in the laboratory in devices called SAW devices. Such devices find many applications as delay lines, filters, resonators and sensors. The present paper provides a snapshot review and description of the functioning, operation and latest technical advancements seen in these devices over the period from 2003-2012. For improvement in design, development, fabrication and characterization of these devices, computational modeling plays a prominent and pivotal role. Employing unique custom made software algorithms based on well established principles of physics, these devices are accurately modeled and simulated and a short review and description of the strategy adopted for the same is also provided.


The physics of the generation, propagation, and detection of sound in the ocean. Topics include the acoustic wave equation and its limitations in fluids; plane, cylindrical, and spherical waves; the ray approximation; reflection of planes waves from plane boundaries; radiation of sound from circular piston, continuous line source, and linear array; speed of sound and absorption in the ocean; active and passive sonar equations; transmission-loss and detection-threshold models; normal mode propagation in the ocean; the parabolic equation approximation. Laboratory experiments include surface interference, noise analysis, normal modes, and acoustic waveguides. Prerequisites: PH2151 and PH3991.


Acoustics is a branch of physics that deals with the study of mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including topics such as vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician while someone working in the field of acoustics technology may be called an acoustical engineer. The application of acoustics is present in almost all aspects of modern society with the most obvious being the audio and noise control industries.


The steps shown in the above diagram can be found in any acoustical event or process. There are many kinds of cause, both natural and volitional. There are many kinds of transduction process that convert energy from some other form into sonic energy, producing a sound wave. There is one fundamental equation that describes sound wave propagation, the acoustic wave equation, but the phenomena that emerge from it are varied and often complex. The wave carries energy throughout the propagating medium. Eventually this energy is transduced again into other forms, in ways that again may be natural and/or volitionally contrived. The final effect may be purely physical or it may reach far into the biological or volitional domains. The five basic steps are found equally well whether we are talking about an earthquake, a submarine using sonar to locate its foe, or a band playing in a rock concert.


The central stage in the acoustical process is wave propagation. This falls within the domain of physical acoustics. In fluids, sound propagates primarily as a pressure wave. In solids, mechanical waves can take many forms including longitudinal waves, transverse waves and surface waves.


Acoustics looks first at the pressure levels and frequencies in the sound wave and how the wave interacts with the environment. This interaction can be described as either a diffraction, interference or a reflection or a mix of the three. If several media are present, a refraction can also occur. Transduction processes are also of special importance to acoustics.


A transducer is a device for converting one form of energy into another. In an electroacoustic context, this means converting sound energy into electrical energy (or vice versa). Electroacoustic transducers include loudspeakers, microphones, particle velocity sensors, hydrophones and sonar projectors. These devices convert a sound wave to or from an electric signal. The most widely used transduction principles are electromagnetism, electrostatics and piezoelectricity.


Many studies have been conducted to identify the relationship between acoustics and cognition, or more commonly known as psychoacoustics, in which what one hears is a combination of perception and biological aspects.[30] The information intercepted by the passage of sound waves through the ear is understood and interpreted through the brain, emphasizing the connection between the mind and acoustics. Psychological changes have been seen as brain waves slow down or speed up as a result of varying auditory stimulus which can in turn affect the way one thinks, feels, or even behaves.[31] This correlation can be viewed in normal, everyday situations in which listening to an upbeat or uptempo song can cause one's foot to start tapping or a slower song can leave one feeling calm and serene. In a deeper biological look at the phenomenon of psychoacoustics, it was discovered that the central nervous system is activated by basic acoustical characteristics of music.[32] By observing how the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spine, is influenced by acoustics, the pathway in which acoustic affects the mind, and essentially the body, is evident.[32]


2.062[J] Wave Propagation ()(Same subject as 1.138[J], 18.376[J])Prereq: 2.003 and 18.075Units: 3-0-9Lecture: TR9.30-11 (E25-117)Theoretical concepts and analysis of wave problems in science and engineering with examples chosen from elasticity, acoustics, geophysics, hydrodynamics, blood flow, nondestructive evaluation, and other applications. Progressive waves, group velocity and dispersion, energy density and transport. Reflection, refraction and transmission of plane waves by an interface. Mode conversion in elastic waves. Rayleigh waves. Waves due to a moving load. Scattering by a two-dimensional obstacle. Reciprocity theorems. Parabolic approximation. Waves on the sea surface. Capillary-gravity waves. Wave resistance. Radiation of surface waves. Internal waves in stratified fluids. Waves in rotating media. Waves in random media.T. R. Akylas, R. R. RosalesNo required or recommended textbooks


2.065 Acoustics and Sensing ()(Subject meets with 2.066)Prereq: 2.003, 6.3000, 8.03, or 16.003Units: 3-0-9Lecture: MW9.30-11 (5-134)Introduces the fundamental concepts of acoustics and sensing with waves. Provides a unified theoretical approach to the physics of image formation through scattering and wave propagation in sensing. The linear and nonlinear acoustic wave equation, sources of sound, including musical instruments. Reflection, refraction, transmission and absorption. Bearing and range estimation by sensor array processing, beamforming, matched filtering, and focusing. Diffraction, bandwidth, ambient noise and reverberation limitations. Scattering from objects, surfaces and volumes by Green's Theorem. Forward scatter, shadows, Babinet's principle, extinction and attenuation. Ray tracing and waveguides in remote sensing. Applications to acoustic, radar, seismic, thermal and optical sensing and exploration. Students taking the graduate version complete additional assignments.N. MakrisNo textbook information available


Patrick Turner received the B.Sc. degree in physics from McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada, in 1997, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, in 1999 and 2005, respectively. He received the Canadian National NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellowship from 2005-2007 at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC. His area of research was microwave properties of unconventional superconductors. In 2007, he joined Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI), Santa Barbara, CA, focused on high-performance RF filter products for commercial cell phone base-stations and government systems including the development of a new surface acoustic wave filter design capability. In 2012, he joined Resonant Inc., Santa Barbara, CA, focused on developing acoustic wave filter technology for cellular handsets. He has coauthored over 35 technical papers and holds 16 issued U.S. patents. 041b061a72


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