AE-QCM 2.0
tel +39 081 0788140 · fax + 39 081 0111803 · email
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
Novaetech certifies that this product met its published specifications at
the time of shipment.
This Novaetech product is warranted against defects in materials and
workmanship for a period of one (1) year from the date of shipment.
For warranty service or repair, this product must be returned to a
Novaetech authorized service facility. Contact Novaetech or an
authorized representative before returning this product for repair.
Safety and Preparation for Use
Getting Started
AE-CONTROL Unit Side Panels Overview 4
AE-QCM Sampling Head Overview
Quick Start Instructions
AE-QCM 2.0 User Interface
Win AE-Control Software
Crystal Installation
QCM Measurements
Specifications AE-QCM 2.0
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
Copyright © Novaetech S.r.l.,
2010. All rights reserved.
Novaetech S.r.l.
Via Coroglio 57d
80124 Napoli (Italy)
Printed in Italy
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
Safety and Preparation for Use
Safety and Preparation for Use
Operate Only With Covers In Place
To avoid personal injury, do not remove the product covers or panels.
Do not operate the product without all covers and panels in place.
Line Voltage
The AE-QCM 2.0 Control Unit operates at +9VDC. Power consumption
is max 18W total.
Power AC/DC Adapter
The AE-QCM 2.0 requires power AC/DC adapter 9V - max 1.5A for
connection to the power source.
Keep power line and all the other electrical wiring in your experimental
setup neatly organized and in good working condition. Inspect all wires
periodically for problems as part of your safety checkups.
Liquid Contact
This product is intended for use only in a clean dry laboratory
environment. Operation in other environments may cause damage to
the product and reduce the effectiveness of the safety features. To
reduce the risk of fire or electrocution do not expose this product to rain
or excessive moisture. Be careful not to spill liquid of any kind onto or
into the product.
Serviceable Parts
The AE-QCM 2.0 does not include any user serviceable parts inside.
Peltier Operations
During measurement operations with the Peltier activated it is important
to connect the sampling head to a suitable heat sink (through holes on
the bottom side of the sampling head can be used to correctly fix it to
the heat sink).
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
-AECONTROL Unit Side Panels Overview
Getting Started
Left Side
This section provides instructions for: unpacking, checking and
connecting the AE-QCM 2.0 Quartz Crystal Microbalance to its
accessories and to your experiment. Quick Start instructions are also
provided to easily perform QCM measurements.
The AE-QCM 2.0 System is a high precision mass measuring sensor
featuring excellent performances in the recovery of the beat oscillation
frequency coming from two coupled working quartz crystals. The sensor
has an integrated control electronic and it can be used standalone by
interfacing to any frequency meter, oscilloscope or any kind of
acquisition frequency system.
Sampling Head is provided with a temperature sensor and a Peltier
element for temperature control of the quartz sensor.
Resonance frequency and Temperature are measured and displayed
directly on the front panel.
In addition, the AE-QCM 2.0 has USB2.0 interface and comes with
Windows® software providing real-time display and storage of QCM
and thermal data.
Right Side
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM Sampling Head Overview
Before Setting Up
Read the entire Safety and Preparation for Use section of this manual
before starting any setup procedure.
Read and follow all installation and operation instructions in this manual
to ensure that the performance of this instrument is not compromised.
!Open the box(es) and inspect all components of the AE-QCM 2.0
!Report any damage to Novaetech immediately.
!Compare the contents of the shipping boxes against your original
order and the checklist below. Report any discrepancies to Novaetech
Standard Equipment Supplies
"AE-CONTROL Unit - The QCM Controller
"AE-QCM Sampling Head - The QCM with Peltier element and T
sensor integrated
"Power supply ac/dc adapter 9V 1 A
"USB2.0 Cable
"Connection Cable: Micro-D/D-SUB cable only for instrumentation test,
not good for experiment
"One (1) QCM crystal, polished - The Sensor Quartz Crystal with
"User Manual
Optional Equipment
•Replacement Quartz Crystals with holders
•Specific connection cables
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User Interface
Quick Start Instructions
!With the power switch in the OFF position, connect the AE-CONTROL
Unit to the power supply adapter provided.
!Connect the AE-CONTROL Unit to the AE-QCM Sampling Head
using the connection cable (see User Interface Section).
!Mount a fresh quartz crystal with holder in the AE-QCM head. See
special instructions in the Crystal Installation section.
!Connect the AE-CONTROL USB port to your host PC where you
have installed the Win AE-Control software (See User Interface Section
for AE-Control software installation).
The AE-QCM 2.0 system user interface concerns the:
• Front Panel Display
• Cable connection
• Win AE-Control Software
Front Panel Display
A 128 x 64 Dots LCD Graphic Display on the front panel of the AECONTROL unit simply displays AE-QCM 2.0 Connection status,
Measured Frequency and Temperature, Peltier status (cooling,
warming) and software version.
!Turn the power switch ON and check on the front panel display that
AE-QCM is connected and is measuring Frequency and Temperature.
!Start Win AE-Control software and click on the connection icon.
!The AE-QCM 2.0 System is now ready for measurements. Frequency
and Temperature are displayed on the front panel display and on the
host PC monitor.
!Before starting Peltier operations please read the Safety and
preparation for use Section
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User Interface
AE-QCM 2.0 User Interface
Win AE-Control Software
Cable connection
Note. Once you have received the AE-QCM 2.0 system box, please immediately
contact Novaetech in order to receive AE-Software. It will be sent by email.
The AE-QCM Sampling Head can be connected to the Control Unit
by means of a cable with a Micro-D 9 PIN connector, for the
connection with Sampling Head, and a D-SUB 9 PIN connector for
the connection with the Control Unit.
AE-Software is a control and data acquisition software. By means of
AE-Software it is possible to visualize and record data coming from the
AE-QCM Sampling Head (Frequency and Sensor Temperature).
In order to prepare an AE-QCM 2.0 connection cable for your own
experiment the PIN-COLOR Table is reported.
It is also possible to control the crystal sensor temperature by driving
the built-in QCM sampling head Peltier element.
Please pay attention to the current expected on the indicated PIN useful for
the choice of the wires.
Win AE-Control Software requires Windows ®
!Start the installation program (file SetupWinAEControl.msi).
Now you can find the AE-Control software icon on the desktop. The
installation program also creates the folder “Novaetech srl” under
Windows® folder “Program Files”.
!Start the installation of the AE-Control Unit drivers.
Connect Control Unit to the PC by the USB cable. Power On the
Control Unit and check the front panel display for connection.
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
Follow the Windows® standard driver installation procedure by
searching for the drivers in the
Novaetech srl\WinAEcontrol\Drivers folder.
Once the installation of drivers is concluded Win AE-Control software
is ready for use.
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
Win AE-Control Software
Win AE-Control Software
Main window
Top Menu
Sub Menus
Connect device --> Execute the connection with the AE-QCM
Device settings --> Popup window
PID Parameters --> Sets the
Derivative values for the
Peltier control
Get current --> Gets the current PID values
Set as default --> Sets new PID values
as default
Average points/Set --> Sets the number of points
stored per second
Close --> Closes without modification
Firmware update --> Allows firmware updates provided by Novaetech
Set temperature --> Popup window
Control mode/Parameters -->
Sets the type of control of the Peltier temperature
Top Menu
Bottom Menu
Side Bar Menu
Data Plot Screen
Set point/Set point temperature --> Fixes the final
temperature to be reached
Linear ramp/Ramp pendence --> Not active in this version
Storage folder --> Sets the folder where to store data
(default ..\Documents\AEContro\l)
Exit --> Exit the program
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
Win AE-Control Software
Win AE-Control Software
Bottom Menu
Data Plot Screen
! Connection icon --> Execute the connection with the AE-QCM
! Save data check box --> Save the data in the set storage folder
when checked
! Activate temp. control check box --> Check the box to activate the
temperature control with set
In the plot screen Current Frequency, Current Temperature,
Temperature Set for control are plotted in function of time (seconds). In
In this screen the Hz scale can be directly modified by inserting
min/max values in the box on the scale. (Note. If the Hz and T plotted
appear of some orders different from those showed on front panel
display, it is necessary to change decimal separator comma ʻ,ʼ
with the point ʻ.ʼ, in Windows® Control Panel).
Side Bar Menu
In this menu Current Frequency, Current Temperature, Temperature
Set for control and Peltier operation (Warming/Cooling) are displayed.
The following functions can be implemeted
Storage Data Format
The storage data file is automatically generated with the following
name format:
! Clear --> Clear the data plot screen
! Freeze --> Freeze actual data plot screen
The data are store in the following format:
! Autoscale Hz --> Autoscale the frequency data plot
Set Point Temp
Point Temp is not set)
! Autoscale °C --> Not active in this version
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
Crystal Installation
Crystal Installation
This section describes the procedure to install or replace the QCM
crystal in the Sampling Head.
AE-QCM 2.0 Quartz Crystals sensor are carefully selected by
Novaetech in order to have the best coupling with the reference crystal
mounted inside the sampling head. For this reason please
communicate the AE-QCM sampling head code reported on the heat
sink in the bottom side when you order new fresh quartz crystals.
AE-QCM 2.0 quartz crystals are mounted in Al holders for the easy
installation and replacing in the sampling head (see Figure).
Mounting and de-mounting of crystals should be always done with the
maximum care, in order to keep the crystals safe and to assure the
correct electrical contact.
The quartz sensor is correctly installed when gold electrode fits
perfectly the circular window on the up side if the sampling head.
In order to avoid frequency noise do not touch sensor holder during the
measurement operations.
In any case do not force the insertion of quartz crystal in the
sampling head.
It is suggested not to replace a sensor crystal until the saturation
is reached.
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
QCM Measurements
QCM Measurements
The first use of QCMs was as mass sensors and thickness monitors in
gas phase, thin-film depositions. To this date, this continues to be an
important area of application for this technology.
Sauerbrey Equation
Sauerbreyʼs equation is often used to calculate mass loadings and thinfilm thicknesses in vacuum depositions. The basic assumption is that
the incremental change in mass from the foreign film is treated as
though it were really an extension of the thickness of the underlying
quartz. The foreign film is considered rigid and so thin that it does not
experience any shear forces during vibration. As a result, the sensitivity
factor, S, is a fundamental property of the quartz crystal and does not
consider any of the properties of the foreign film (i.e. it is only
dependent on the acousto-elastic properties of quartz).
The dependence of the frequency change on the mass coverage per
unit area, emphasizes the fact that, within certain limits, the sensitivity
factor is independent of the electrode geometry. Thus, in theory, the
QCM mass sensor does not require calibration for this application. This
ability to calculate mass loading from first principles is obviously a very
attractive feature of these devices.
Film thickness
Film thickness is often the parameter of interest in gas-phase thin-film
depositions. If the mass coverage is believed to be uniform, the
thickness t of the film is easily calculated by dividing the mass per unit
area M provided by Sauerbreyʼs equation by the materialʼs density #.
By means of Sauerbray Equation mass per unit area M in function of
resonance Frequency shift !" (S is crystal sensitivity):
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0
Power supply +9VDC
Power consumption max 230mA
(max 2A with operating Peltier
Dimensions mm 200 x 72 x 184
Weight g 948.
Operating temperature 0 °C - 40 °C
Material Al e ABS
Quartz Crystals
Frequency 10 MHz, AT-cut,
Blank Diameter 0.34 inch
Electrodes titanium/gold
diameter 0.201 inch
Sensitivity 2.26x10^8
Hz/(g cm^2)
Crystal Holder
Material Al
Sampling head
Material PTFE
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0
AE-QCM 2.0 User
Manual v.1.0