Q-Sense Initiator

The Q-Sense Initiator is an entry level system that enables real time analysis of thin films and surface interactions using Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) monitoring technology.

Q-Sense Initiator

The Q-Sense Initiator is an entry level system that enables real time analysis of thin films and surface interactions using Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) monitoring technology.

Manufacturer Q-Sense
Product Series Q-Sense QCM-D
Measurement principle Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation
Application Surface & Thin Film Interactions
Sample type thin films, polymers, surfactants, proteins, lipids, cells
Sensor systemSingle channel
Minimum sample volume200µl
Working temperature20-45°C

Product Overview

The Q-Sense Initiator is a QCM-D instrument for high sensitivity mass detection. It is a single channel system with a fixed flow module which holds the sensor. A peristaltic pump connected to the flow module controls the loading of the sample on the sensor surface. Changing the buffer/substrate solutions enables a wide range of experimental conditions.

The system software controls the instrument operation and enables the detection of mass changes. There is quantification of rigid film mass. The Q-Sense Initiator has a fixed flow module so is not compatible with the other measurement modules. It is compatible with the whole range of Q-Sense sensor surfaces.

What is QCM-D?

Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) is a label free technique that provides real time analysis of thin film formation and interactions. The film is formed on a sensor which consists of a thin quartz disc sandwiched between a pair of electrodes. An AC voltage oscillates the sensor at high frequency. The solution of film material flows across the surface of the sensor and molecular layers of film build up on the surface. The sensor mass changes and so does its oscillation frequency. The frequency change is related to mass/thickness of the film.Mass changes can be measured with nanogram sensitivity – less than 1% of a protein

Frequency-mass. If the film is thin and rigid the sensor oscillation frequency can be used in the Sauerbrey relation to calculate the total mass on the sensor surface. If the film material density is known then the film thickness can be calculated.

Dissipation-viscoelasticity. Viscoelastic films dampen the sensor oscillation more than rigid films and the Sauerbrey relation is no longer valid. By measuring the dissipation rate and driving the sensor at multiple harmonic frequencies it is possible to calculate the values of film thickness, viscosity, elasticity and density.

Applications include protein conformational changes, lipids, polymers and whole cells. It is possible to determine the water content of molecular layers. Interactions can be studied on many sensor coatings such as gold and polymers.

  • Benefits


Measure the mass of molecular layers formed on the sensor with nanogram sensitivity.

Real time measurements allowing recording and evaluation of kinetics

Flow measurements in a temperature-controlled environment

Multi-frequency measurements 6 overtones can be measured enabling greater modelling accuracy.

Sensor coatings:

Sensor coatings:

The sensor coating is a critical part of a QCM-D experiment. There is a wide selection of standard sensor coatings and customised coatings are fabricated upon request.

Aluminium (Al) Iron (Fe) Silicon Nitride (SiN)
Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3) Iron Oxide (Fe2O3) Silicon Oxycarbide (SiOC)
AlSiO Iron Oxide (Fe3O4) Silver (Ag)
Amorphous Fluoropolymer Indium Tin Oxide (ITO on Au) Soda-lime glass
Barium Titanate (BaTiO3) Magnesium (Mg) Stainless Steel (S2343, 316)
Biotin (on gold) Molybdenum (Mo) SStainless Steel (L605)
Borosilicate glass NHS-Amine Coupling Tantalum (Ta)
Cellulose (on SiO2) Nylon “6,6” Tantalum Nitride (TaN)
Chromium (Cr) Polyethylenimine (PEI) Titanium (Ti)
Cobalt (Co) Platinum (Pt) Tungsten (W)
Copper (Cu) Polystyrene (Ps) TZinc Oxide (ZnO)
Gold (Ag) Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) Zinc Sulfide (ZnS)
Gold (Ti Adhesion) Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) Zirconium Oxide (ZrO)
Graphene* NEW! Silicon (Si)
His-tag Capturing Silicon Carbide (SiC)
Hydroxyapatite Silicon Dioxide (SiO2)
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