Base of a system is a quartz crystal which oscillates at a constant frequency when power is applied. During the measurement, deposition of molecules on a crystal surface cause change of the frequency of the oscillation which enables measurements of a mass change, down to nanogram sensitivity. Additionally, dissipation can be measured, so information about the structure and viscoelasticity of the film can be obtained.
Currently, M. Lihter is performing measurements of thiolated ssDNA attachment to Au-surface and further hybridization of this DNA.
Most interesting results, where the instrument has shown it’s immediate purpose were obtained by J. Salopek from D. KOvačević group at Chem. Dept of Faculty of Science, Uni Zagreb. Their polyelectrolyte multilyers show alternating softness/dissipation in dependence of the final layer composition and also the counterion species. That is, it is not only information on the mass of the multilayers but also their dissipation properties that were necessary for the proper description of the system under study.