Detection of particulate matter of size 2.5 μm with a surface-acoustic-wave sensor combined with a cyclone separator

Fung Yu Kuo, Ying Chen Lin, Ling Yi Ke, Chuen-Jinn Tsai, Da Jeng Yao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A device to monitor particulate matter of size 2.5 μm (PM2.5) that has been designed and developed includes a surface-acoustic-wave sensor operating in a shear horizontal mode (SH-SAW) combined with a cyclone separator. In our tests, aerosols generated as incense smoke were first separated and sampled inside a designed cyclone separator; the sampled PM2.5 was then introduced into the sensing area of an SH-SAWsensor for detection. The use of microcentrifuge tubes as a cyclone separator effectively decreases the size and power consumption of the device; the SAW sensor in a well design and operating at 122 MHz was fabricated with MEMS techniques. After an explanation of the design of the cyclone separator, a simulation of the efficiency and the SAWsensor detection are discussed. A microcentrifuge tube (volume 0.2 mL, inlet and outlet diameters 0.5 mm) as a separator has separation cutoffdiameters 50% (d50) at 2.5 μm; the required rate of volumetric flow at the inlet is 0.125 LPM, according to simulation with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software; the surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) sensor exhibits sensitivity approximately 9 Hz/ng; an experiment for PM2.5 detection conducted with the combined device shows a strong positive linear correlation with a commercial aerosol monitor. The limit of detection (LOD) is 11 μg/m3 with sample time 160 s and total detection duration about 5 min.

Original languageEnglish
Article number398
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number8
StatePublished - 12 Aug 2018


  • Cyclone separator
  • Environmental sensing
  • PM2.5
  • Surface-acoustic-wave sensor


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