This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Development of Novel Acoustic Wave Biosensor Platforms Based on Magnetostriction and Fabrication of Magnetostrictive Nanowires




Li, Suiqiong

Type of Degree



Materials Engineering


There is an urgent need for biosensors that are able to detect and quantify the presence of a small amount of biological threat agents in a real-time manner. Acoustic wave (AW) devices, whose performance is defined by mass sensitivity (Sm) and merit quality factor (Q value), have been extensively studied as high performance biosensor platforms. However, current AW devices face some challenges in practical applications. In this research, two types of AW devices – magnetostrictive microcantilever (MSMC) and completely free-standing magnetostrictive particle (MSP) – were developed. The research consists of two parts: 1) Design and the feasibility study of MSMC and MSP based sensor technology; 2) Fabrication and characterization of micro/nano MSPs made of amorphous Fe-B alloy. Both MSMC and MSP based sensors are wireless/remote and work well in liquid, which makes the sensors good candidates for in-situ detection. The performance of MSMC was simulated and compared with the state of art AW devices: microcantilevers. The MSMC exhibits the following advantages: 1) remote/wireless driving and sensing; 2) ease of fabrication; 3) works well in liquid; 4) exhibits a high Q value (> 500 in air); 5) well suited for sensor array development. MSMCs in milli/micro sizes were fabricated and their performance was characterized in air and liquid. The experimental results confirm the advantages of MSMC mentioned above. The in situ detection of the yeast cells and Bacillus anthracis spores in water were performed using MSMC biosensors. MSPs in the shape of strip and bar were investigated. Strip-shape MSPs in milli/micro sizes were fabricated. The resonance behaviors of MSPs at the even and odd vibration modes were analyzed. MSP exhibits a Sm about 100 times greater, and a Q value about 10 times greater, than MCs. A multiple-sensor and a multiple-target approach were developed to further enhance the performance of MSP-based sensors. A unique methodology was created to detect the target species on the sensor surface at different locations by combining even and odd harmonic mode signals. As with other AW devices, a smaller size results in a higher Sm. To create micro/nano sized MSMC & MSP sensors, amorphous Fe-B thin films and nanowires were fabricated using electrochemical deposition. The microstructure, morphology, composition and magnetic properties of the fabricated nanowires were determined. It is found that the films and the nanowires are excellent candidates for developing micro/nano MSPs and MSMCs.