A nanocell for quartz crystal microbalance and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation-monitoring sensing
Journal article, 2009

A novel device for nanometer-confinement of soft matter in one dimension (1D) is presented. This nanocell, with very large (up to 10(6):1) cell-radius to cell-height ratio, is tailored as an accessory for quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and QCM with dissipation-monitoring (QCM-D). sensing to study internal and interfacial energy dissipation phenomena in highly confined (in 1D) soft matter and fluid films (patent pending). The cell consists of two macroscopic plates (diameter of 9 mm), a top (the "lid") and a bottom (the QCM-D sensor), separated by appropriate spacers with heights ranging from below 100 nm up to 10 mu m. The surfaces of both the lid and the bottom plate can be mechanically or/and chemically modified, prior to cell assembly, in order to tailor desired interfacial properties for the experiment. The cell is mounted on a standard QCM-D sensor, an AT-cut quartz crystal (the quartz crystal is cut at an angle of 35 degrees from its ZX-plane), forming the bottom plate. We illustrate theoretically and experimentally, as application examples, the use of this device for studies of dynamic mass loading and internal energy dissipation processes in thin films of ethylene glycol respective thin liquid crystal films around the nematic-isotropic phase transition.


thin confined films

liquid crystals


soft matter materials


Gabriel Ohlsson

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Biological Physics

Christoph Langhammer

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Chemical Physics

Igor Zoric

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Chemical Physics

Bengt Herbert Kasemo

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Chemical Physics

Review of Scientific Instruments

0034-6748 (ISSN)

Vol. 80 083905-

Subject Categories

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics