A new passive and remote SAW sensor system having ID tag function is presented. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices have been widely used as a chemical and physical sensor for measuring the environment. SAW devices have been also used as identification tags (ID tags). The majority of the work reported on SAW sensors to date has used Rayleigh mode SAW and are concerning a delay line. The other hand, it has been shown that the sensors utilizing the shear horizontal mode SAW (SH-SAW) can be designed to sense the liquid properties. The SH-SAW has the unique characteristic of complete reflection at a 90 degree edge normal to the direction of the propagation. This characteristic makes it possible to construct a reflective delay line using the edge reflection. The reflective delay line can be used for as passive and remote sensing.
In this paper, a passive and remote SAW sensor with a function of identification tags has been designed by using the reflective SH-SAW delay line. The reflective delay line was constructed on the 36 YX LiTaO3 substrate having a 90 degree edge normal to the direction of the SAW propagation. Passive and remote SAW sensor consists of several reflective delay lines having different propagation length. The passive sensor and ID tags were made by the multi-channel delay line. The responses of the sensor and ID tags using the edge reflection of SH-SAW are obtained in time domain. Several experiments were performed to verify the performances of the multi-channel edge reflection sensor. The basic characteristics of the reflective SAW sensor were obtained by measuring the amplitude and phase of reflected wave. The obtained results showed that the reflective SH-SAW sensor was very effective for sensing the physical and chemical properties.
Wireless systems are also suggested for the effective operation of the passive SAW sensor. A novel and simple electronic circuit system for accurately measuring the phase characteristics of responses form multi-channel is proposed. In the application, the reflective delay line has been mounted on cantilever to monitor the strain experimentally. The variation of the SH-SAW velocity on the delay line caused by a strain was measured as the passive SAW sensor response. The velocity varied in proportion to the strain applied to the propagation surface. The results showed that the passive sensor was very effective to measure the strain in a wireless mode and it was found that the system is very suitable to health and safety monitoring of building or airplane wing.
Finally it will be shown some applications of the wireless sensor with ID tags on the measurement of the conductivity and viscosity of same liquids.