Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) Products
The Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) is an extremely sensitive mass sensor, capable of measuring mass changes in the nanogram range. QCMs are piezoelectric devices fabricated of a thin plate of quartz with electrodes affixed to each side of the plate.
International Crystal Manufacturing Company (ICM) manufactures a standard and custom crystals for use as Quartz Crystal Microbalance and Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance applications plus necessary accessories such as oscillators and liquid flow/static cells.
To view details about our quartz microbalance products, please select one of the links below:
ICM offers three major product categories of Quartz Crystal Microbalance products. These include:
In order for a Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) crystal to work end-users must have some type of oscillator circuit to connect the crystal to and, in many instances, an enclosure or liquid flow/static cell for the crystal is necessary.
ICM produces two types of high-quality oscillators designed specifically for use with QCM crystals:
Our standard (clock) oscillator is designed for use in gaseous applications and our Lever Oscillator is designed for use in liquid applications. Both types of oscillators for use with QCM crystals are proven designs developed by experienced engineers.
ICM also offers three cells for holding the QCM's designed to work with the oscillators. When using QCM’s in an aqueous solution, one side of the crystal must be dry and exposed to the air. Our two liquid flow/static cells allow the use of liquids in two ways:
One cell is made of clear acrylic and the other is made of PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) which provides excellent chemical resistance to organic and inorganic liquids. Our Static cell, made of Teflon, offers a larger chamber with one 5mm and one 7mm hole for electrodes or probes for electrochemical use and two 2mm holes for manual purging/insertion in the top.
QCM crystals are used as sensors to determine mass changes as a result of frequency changes. In research environments, the most common QCM crystal applications include metal deposition monitors, chemical reaction monitors, biomedical sensors, and environmental monitoring applications, etc. Other applications include detection of mass, density, viscosity, adsorption, desorption, and corrosion.
The most common frequencies for ICM’s QCM crystals are 5.000 MHz and 10.000 MHz, although ICM can produce QCM crystals with any frequency between 1.000 and 30.000+ MHz.
When ordering Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) crystals, end-user customers will need to determine the following parameters:
Select the desired frequency between 1.00 and 30.00MHz. ICM’s standard frequencies are 5.00MHz and 10.00MHz. Higher frequencies will provide better resolution on the reading, but these crystals will be more difficult to handle.
The standard Blank Diameters are .538", .340", and .318" for our most common frequencies. Frequencies outside of the normal range may require different diameters. For assistance, please call ICM.
Determine which finish, of the two types of surface finish, is needed need. Select either:
Electrodes are normally .137", .201", or .268" in diameter depending on the frequency requested. ICM can supply other sizes and shapes upon request. Crystals can be supplied as an un-plated blank as well. For assistance, please call ICM.
End-users must specify the electrode material required. ICM normally supplies QCMs plated with 1,000 Å of 99.99% pure gold (Au). Other electrode materials that are available include:
Due to the Fluctuation in the price of Precious Metals, ICM reserves the right to change the price of QCM crystals at anytime.
Mounting and Bonding
ICM’s QCM crystals are normally supplied mounted and bonded to an HC-48/U base which provides physical and electrical connection. Customers may request crystals to be un-bonded. Un-bonded crystals can be removed from the base and coated with material by the customer at their facility and then re-mounted into the base for use. ICM can supply a conductive silver epoxy that cures at room temperature for bonding the crystals to the base after this coating process.
Un-Mounted and Un-Bonded
ICM’s QCM crystals can be supplied as un-mounted and un-bonded this option provides the customer with just the QCM blank, a base and can will not be provided. This option is provided for those customer’s who wish to use the QCM in a static cell or who want to us their own mounting hardware.
Customers often present special QCM crystal configurations outside the parameters listed above. Please call ICM for assistance for any special configurations.
Call us today at 1-800-725-1426, fill out our contact form, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or request an online quote for International Crystal Manufacturing radio frequency control devices – quartz crystals, oscillators, filters, TCXOs, and precision crystals.
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