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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 7580483, 8 pages
Research Article

Using Quartz Crystal Microbalance for Field Measurement of Liquid Viscosities

School of Automation Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China

Received 25 November 2015; Revised 20 January 2016; Accepted 20 January 2016

Academic Editor: Vincenzo Spagnolo

Copyright © 2016 Qingsong Bai and Xianhe Huang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The field measurement of liquid viscosities, especially the high viscous liquids, is challenging and often requires expensive equipment, long processing time, and lots of reagent. We use quartz crystal microbalances (QCMs) operating in solution which are also sensitive to the viscosity and density of the contacting solution. QCMs are typically investigated for sensor applications in which one surface of QCM completely immersed in Newtonian liquid, but the viscous damping in liquids would cause not only large frequency shifts but also large losses in the quality factor leading to instability and even cessation of oscillation. A novel mass-sensitivity-based method for field measurement of liquid viscosities using a QCM is demonstrated in this paper and a model describing the influence of the liquid properties on the oscillation frequency is established as well. Two groups of verified experiments were performed and the experimental results show that the presented method is effective and possesses potential applications.