Bulk Acoustic Wave Resonators (BAWRs) have been well developed both as filters and as high sensitivity sensors in recent years. In contrast to traditional megahertz quartz resonators, BAWRs offer significant increases in resonant frequency, typically operating in gigahertz regimes. This translates into a potential sensitivity increase of more than three orders of magnitude over traditional QCM (Quartz Crystal Microbalance) devices. Given the micrometer-scale size of BAW sensor-head, read-out circuitry can monolithic integrated with this GHz transducer is urgently needed to produce small, robust, and inexpensive sensor systems. A BAW sensor read-out circuit prototype based on Pierce oscillator architecture is fulfilled in this paper. Based on the differential measurement scheme, two uniform BAWRs are used to constitute two BAW oscillators as a reference and a measurement branch respectively. The resonant frequency shift caused by the measurand is obtained by mixing and filtering the two oscillator signals. Then, the intermediate signal is amplified, shaped and converted to a digital one. And a FPGA is used for frequency detection. Taking 2 GHz BAW mass sensor as a case study, deign procedure are given in details. Simulation and experimental results reveal a 0-99 MHz frequency shift measurement range. Main factors affecting phase noise of the BAW oscillator (i.e. mainly frequency stability of the BAW sensor readout circuit) are also discussed for further optimizations.
Yang Gao, Xi-Yang Yin, Bin Han, and Yu-Hang Wang, "BAW sensor readout circuit based on Pierce oscillator architecture," Proc. SPIE 10438, Emerging Imaging and Sensing Technologies for Security and Defence II, 104380B (Presented at SPIE Security + Defence: September 13, 2017; Published: 6 October 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2278370.
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