Master thesis project @ NEST

Development of an acoustic nano-resonator for molecular sensing
Dr. Marco Cecchini
NEST, Istituto Nanoscienze-CNR and Scuola Normale Superiore
Piazza San Silvestro 12
56127 Pisa (ITALY)
Phone: (+39) 050 509 459

Topic: An acoustic nano-resonator is microdevice composed by a piezoelectric substrate and nanofabricated interdigitated metallic stripes. By
applying a specific radiofrequency signal, surface acoustic waves (SAWs) can be excited and confined in a very small area.
Given their very superficial nature, SAWs are highly sensitive to surface perturbations of the substrate along which they propagate. For
example, they can interact with liquid droplets or streams inducing macroscopic fluid manipulations or, in a different configuration, be exploited for sensing applications.
Objective: Design, fabrication and characterization of acoustic nano-resonators coupled to microfluidic elements for portable high-performance molecular sensing.
Methods: Finite element modelling analysis, nano and microfabrication (optical and electron beam lithography techniques), optical and scanning electron microscopy, laser Doppler vibrometry, radiofrequency testing and characterization.

Further details on this research activity can be found in the website:

and in the following publications:
– Agostini M., Greco G., and Cecchini M. “A Rayleigh surface acoustic wave (R-SAW)
resonator biosensor basedon positive and negative reflectors with sub-nanomolar limit of detection” Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 254 (2018) 1–7 []
– Greco G., Agostini M., Shilton R., Travagliati M., Signore G., Cecchini M., “Surface AcousticWave (SAW)-Enhanced Chemical functionalization of Gold Films” Sensors (2017), 17, 2452 []