Quantifying the Nanoscale World
Q-Sense instruments enable real-time analysis of surface-molecule interactions with nanogram precision for a wide variety of samples and measurement conditions. With turn-key instruments, intuitive software and support from our experienced team we ensure that you will get the most out of your system. The product line is designed to offer a suitable solution for every kind of lab and application. All Q-Sense instruments are based on the Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring (QCM-D) technology.
Q-Sense Pro is the fully automated QCM-D instrument for large-scale analysis.
Fully automated QCM-D for large-scale analysis
The Q-Sense Pro enables unattended measurements at high throughput with high reproducibility. The liquid handling system ensures precise sample handling and can even prepare your concentration series for you before you start the measurement. The intuitive software makes it easy to program your measurements and leave the instrument unattended until the measurement and the automatic cleaning is finished. Thereafter you can analyze your data to acquire mass, thickness, viscoelastic properties, adsorption rates etc.
Prepare and mount up to 8 sensors. The instrument is compatible with all Q-Sensors.
The Q-Sense Pro is the same instrument as the previously named Q-Sense Omega Auto.
QSense Analyzer is the QCM-D instrument for fast sample processing at high quality.
The QCM-D instrument for fast sample processing at high quality
The QSense Analyzer is a 4-channel system which increases the throughput and enables the evaluation of several parameters simultaneously such as pH, concentrations, substrates etc. Since the 4 measurements are performed with the same measurement sequence, the data sets can easily be compared to each other. Mass, thickness, viscoelastic parameters, adsorption rates etc can easily be extracted from the analysis software.
4-sensor chamber enables higher throughput and simultaneous comparison of measurement parameters. Removable flow modules, one for each sensor, gives flexibility and simplifies cleaning. The instrument is compatible with all QSensors.
Flow modules and liquid handling system is designed to ensure controlled and uniform flow over the measurement sensors.
The analysis enables real-time monitoring as the events happen on the sensor surface. The system comes with a complete software package which enables quantification of raw data into mass, thickness, viscoelastic parameters, adsorption rates etc in the analysis software
The QSense Analyzer is the same instrument as the previously named QSense E4.
QSense Explorer is the versatile and modular instrument which enables endless experiment possibilities.
The versatile and modular QCM-D instrument for quantification at research laboratories
QSense Explorer is the versatile and modular instrument which enables endless experiment possibilities and the ability to combine QCM-D measurements with other techniques thanks to its compact design and exchangeable flow module. Other modules available includes window module, electrochemistry module, open module and more. See the full list of available modules. Apart from the raw data monitored in real-time, mass/thickness, viscoelastic parameters, adsorption rates etc can easily be extracted from the analysis software.
The QSense Explorer is a one-channel system with a removable flow module in which the sensor is placed. The instrument is compatible with all Q-Sensors. The flow module is easily placed in the measurement chamber and is kept in place by a magnet.
The module is connected directly to the liquid handling system which creates a controlled flow of sample over the sensor surface.
Thanks to the modular design, the standard flow module can be exchanged to one of the optional modules, for example the window module.
The QSense Explorer is the same instrument as the previously named Q-Sense E1.
The QSense Initiator is a QCM-D instrument with focus on the core functions. It is the newest member of the QSense product family.
The superior QCM with Dissipation monitoring technology (QCM-D)
The QSense Initiator is a superior QCM with Dissipation monitoring technology (QCM-D) instrument. In this instrument, the focus is on the basic functions and qualities of a QSense instrument; It produces QCM-D data with superior accuracy, has a robust design with controlled liquid flow and enables a wide range of experimental conditions.
The QSense Initiator is a one-channel system with a fixed module in which the sensor is placed. The module is connected to the liquid handling system which ensures a controlled flow over the sensor surface. The instrument is compatible with all Q-Sensors.
Number of sensors: 1
Minimum sample volume: 200 µl
Temperature range: 20-45 degC
Time resolution: 0.5 s
Number of harmonics: 2
Quantification of mass, viscoelastic properties: No
QSense Explorer Microscopy enables simultaneous QCM-D and microscopy measurements thanks to optical access to the QCM-D sensor surface. The compact design of the measurement chamber makes it compatible with many microscopy sample stages.
Simultaneous QCM-D and microscopy measurements
Simultaneous QCM-D and microscopy measurements open up a new world of possibilities to understand interactions and reactions taking place on the surface. The QCM-D data reveals mass changes and structural changes whereas the microscopy image reveals changes in shape and lateral movements.
QSense Explorer Microscopy is also a great system for QCM-D analysis of light or irradiation sensitive processes that may not require microscopy studies.
The QSense Explorer Microscopy requires a separate microscope that has a working distance of 3.3 mm and a bench to lens distance of 31 mm. Contact us if you need further guidance on compatible microscopes.
The Q-Sense Explorer Electrochemistry enables the combination of QCM-D and electrochemistry on the same surface.
Electrochemistry and QCM-D at the same surface
Typical electrochemical measurements include cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. In combination with QCM-D, which gives real-time monitoring of mass and viscoelastic changes, this enables the following experiments to name a few:
- Expansion/contraction of polymer films
- Nucleation and growth of polymer films
- Electrostatic interactions with (bio)molecules
- Membrane potential measurements
Click here for more details on the electrochemistry module in the Q-Sense Explorer Electrochemistry system.
The Q-Sense Explorer Electrochemistry requires a separate potentiostat. Contact us for guidance on compatible potentiostats.
Q-Sense Explorer Ellipsometry enables simultaneous QCM-D and ellipsometry measurements. This clever combination of techniques makes it possible to quantify solvent content of a film and also gives a refined analysis of an adsorbed film’s morphological changes.
Simultaneous QCM-D and ellipsometry measurements
An ellipsometer measures the dry mass of a material adsorbing to a surface, whereas a QCM-D instrument measures the combined mass of the adsorbing material and the solvent coupled within the structure, the so-called wet mass. A QCM-D instrument also detects structural changes within the adsorbed film. The combination of the two techniqes therefore enables quantification of solvent content in the film and can also strictly distinguish between structural changes caused by solvent uptake/release or conformation changes such as cross-linking.
The Q-Sense Explorer Ellipsometry is equipped with an ellipsometry module that gives an external ellipsometer optical access to the QCM-D sensor surface. It has a sophisticated flow pattern to ensure a controlled flow over the sensor surface and is therefore equipped with a different pump compared to the standard Q-Sense Explorer.
The Q-Sense Explorer Ellipsometry requires a separate ellipsometer. Contact us for guidance on compatible ellipsometers.
The Q-Sense Explorer Extreme Temperature enables measurements of experiments that require a very high or very low temperature.
For QCM-D measurements at extreme temperatures
The Q-Sense Explorer Extreme Temperature has a different measurement chamber than other Q-Sense Explorer systems. This chamber is specifically designed for extreme temperatures and can perform QCM-D measurements from 4-150°C with high precision.
The available temperature range of 4-150°C*, enables extensive characterization of the temperature dependence of material properties, including phase transitions, film degradation, shrinkage, swelling, and changes in viscoelasticity. This enables closer studies of surface coatings, polymer films and brushes and nanocomposite materials. The High Temperature Chamber is also suitable for characterization of surface interaction processes such as molecular uptake/release, conformational changes, detergent and surfactant efficiency, and sedimentation of oil-based products.
*Note that an exterior heater/cooler aid is required to reach temperatures below RT and above RT +60 °C.
The Q-Sense Electrochemistry Module, QEM 401, enables simultaneous Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring and Electrochemical measurements (EQCM-D) or QCM-D and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) measurements.
The Q-Sense Electrochemistry Module is suited for the Q-Sense Explorer system (previously Q-Sense E1) but is also compatible with the Q-Sense Analyzer (previously Q-Sense E4) system. The design of the Electrochemistry Module enables flow measurements, which is important for well-controlled experiments. In addition, the module withstands the harsh conditions necessary for some electrochemistry applications. The QCM-D sensor doubles as a working electrode for electrochemistry measurements. A platinum counter-electrode, which also acts as the top wall of the module, reduces the volume above the sensor to about 100 μL. A low-leak reference electrode from WPI is included and is fixed in the outlet flow channel.
Besides the electrodes, Viton® (O-rings) and Teflon® (flow channels inside the module) are the only additional materials exposed to liquid. QEM 401 is delivered with all necessary accessories including cables and fittings. The QEM 401 is compatible with most potentiostats.
The Q-Sense Ellipsometry Module enables simultaneous QCM-D and ellipsometry measurements on the same substrate.
As the complexity of systems under study increases, one technique alone may not provide all the required information. Merging several techniques into the same setup and monitoring events on the same surface may provide complementary information and enable a more complete analysis. For example, both QCM-D and ellipsometry measurements can be conducted in situ in the flow- and temperature-controlled ellipsometry module. The Q-Sense Ellipsometry module is compatible with the Q-Sense Explorer system (previously Q-Sense E1).
This standard Q-Sense flow module is included with the Q-Sense Explorer (previously Q-Sense E1) and Q-Sense Analyzer (previously Q-Sense E4) instruments.
Q-Sense flow modules are made of aluminum (shell) and titanium (liquid contacting surfaces) and the O-rings and sealing are made of Viton®. More chemically resistant materials are available upon request. In addition to the tubing material, liquid samples only come into contact with titanium and Viton during experimentation. The volume above the sensor is 40 μL and the minimum sample volume is approximately 250 μL. There is also a temperature stabilization loop to ensure excellent temperature control and stable QCM signals.
Additionally, the flow modules can be completely disassembled, allowing thorough cleaning of the module components, for instance in an ultrasonic bath. Additional flow modules can be purchased to reduce the risk of contamination in a multi-user environment, and thus improve reproducibility and reliability.
The Q-Sense Humidity module is designed to enable measurements of vapor uptake and release from thin films coated on the sensor.
It is an optional module compatible with both the Q-Sense Explorer (previously Q-Sense E1) and Analyzer (previously Q-Sense E4) systems. The sensor surface is separated from the liquid flow by a Gore-membrane* thereby creating an air-filled compartment over the sensor. Flowing saturated salt solution over the membrane will generate a specific and controlled relative humidity in the volume above the sensor surface. The humidity above the sensor equilibrates almost instantly, providing the possibility of real time measurements.
Measurements are conducted in two steps:
- The film of interest is applied to the sensor by, for example, spin-coating.
- The coated sensor is placed in the module and vapor uptake or release is measured.
A typical application is to measure swelling of polymer or cellulose films.
*GORE is a trademark of W.L. Gore & Associates.
The Q-Sense Open Module is designed to enable direct access to the sensor surface required by some applications, e.g., pipetting of sample directly onto the sensor surface. The Open Module is also useful for quick adsorption tests or other experiments when flow conditions are not required.
The Q-Sense Open module is compatible with both the Q-Sense Explorer (previously Q-Sense E1) and Q-Sense Analyzer (previously Q-Sense E4) systems. An example of an application for the Open Module is the measurement of bulk viscosity, which can be calculated directly in Q-Sense analysis software by looking at the frequency and dissipation responses while measuring the transition from air to liquid.
The open module comes with a lid to avoid evaporation of samples and to improve measurement stability.
- Sample volume typical range is 20–50 µL.
- Compatible with all Q-Sense 14 mm sensors.
- Materials exposed to liquid are Teflon® and Viton® (O-ring).
The Q-Sense Window Module allows optical access to the sensor surface through a sapphire window.
The Q-Sense Window module is compatible with both the Q-Sense Explorer (previously Q-Sense E1) and Q-Sense Analyzer (previously Q-Sense E4) systems. It enables experiments with UV-induced reactions and when used in the Q-Sense Explorer chamber, the compact design also enables microscopy studies of reactions on the sensor.
- Light-induced reactions, e.g. UV curing
- Simultaneous microscopy studies, e.g. cell adhesion
- Working distance, 3.3 mm
The Q-Sense High Temperature Chamber is an additional chamber that enables the QCM-D technology to be performed at an extended temperature range of 4-150 °C*.
This stand-alone chamber includes a flow module and enables measurements under both flow and stagnant conditions. The available temperature range of 4-150 °C*, enables extensive characterization of the temperature dependence of material properties, including phase transitions, film degradation, shrinkage, swelling, and changes in viscoelasticity. This enables closer studies of surface coatings, polymer films and brushes and nanocomposite materials. The High Temperature Chamber is also suitable for characterization of surface interaction processes such as molecular uptake/release, conformational changes, detergent and surfactant efficiency, and sedimentation of oil-based products.
The Q-Sense High Temperature chamber is suited for the electronics unit of the Q-Sense Explorer (previously Q-Sense E1), but is also compatible with the electronics unit of the Q-Sense Analyzer (previously Q-Sense E4) and the Q-Sense Pro (previously Q-Sense Omega Auto).
*Note that an exterior heater/cooler aid is required to reach temperatures below RT and above RT +60 °C.
The Q-Sense ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) Holder is designed to enable QCM-D measurements in vacuum or gas phase.
The ALD Holder is open on both sides of the sensor to prevent uneven pressure changes over the two sensor faces, hence enabling measurements at both low and high ambient pressures. Cables are provided to connect the ALD Holder to the measurement chamber. The measurement signal is transferred via two separate cables through the chamber wall to the QCM-D electronics unit. The ALD holder is suited for the electronics unit of the Q-Sense Explorer (previously Q-Sense E1), but is also compatible with the electronics unit of the Q-Sense Analyzer (previously Q-Sense E4) and the Q-Sense Pro (previously Q-Sense Omega Auto).
The PTFE Flow module is suitable for flow or stagnant measurements where the reagents or molecules are sensitive to interactions with titanium. The PTFE Flow module is similar to the Q-Sense Flow module QFM 401 but the titanium flow part is here exchanged for PTFE (Teflon®-like).
In addition to the tubing material, liquid samples in the PTFE Flow Module only come into contact with PTFE and Viton® during experimentation.
Additionally, the flow module can be completely disassembled, allowing thorough cleaning of the module components, for instance in an ultrasonic bath. Additional flow modules can be purchased to reduce the risk of contamination in a multi-user environment, and thus improve reproducibility and reliability.
The PTFE Flow module is compatible with the Q-Sense Explorer (previously Q-Sense E1) and the Q-Sense Analyzer (previously Q-Sense E4) systems.
Q-Sense Accessory Chamber is a stand-alone chamber compatible with the electronics units of the Q-Sense Explorer (previously Q-Sense E1), the Q-Sense Analyzer (previously Q-Sense E4) and the Q-Sense Pro (previously Q-Sense Omega Auto). The chamber includes a flow module and enables single-channel measurements under both flow and stagnant conditions.
The Accessory Chamber is compatible with all accessory modules and the compact design ensures that the unit fits on most microscope stages as well as ellipsometers, and hence enables combination measurements of QCM-D with microscopy and ellipsometry.
To ensure maximum performance, we provide accessories that facilitate and optimize the cleaning of Q-Sensors.
The Q-Sensor Holder holds five sensors and enables easy and efficient cleaning of sensors. It can also be used for the formation of SAMs, e.g thiols. Please note that the holder is not suitable for hydroscopic coatings since the backside of the sensor is coated simultaneously. The holder is made of Teflon®.
UV Ozone ProCleaner™ from Bioforce
The ProCleaner™ device is designed to remove molecular levels of contamination to achieve the cleanest possible surface. The ProCleaner from Bioforce is excellent for cleaning of Q-Sensors. Cleaning by UV Ozone treatment is included in most recommended cleaning protocols from Q-Sense. For more information, please contact us here.
Q-Sense instruments include precision pumps with different flow properties.
Peristaltic pump, Ismatec IPC-N 4
This pump is included with the Q-Sense Analyzer system (previously Q-Sense E4). The IPC-N4 is designed for analytical applications and enables high-precision flow measurements. Further information can be found here.
Peristaltic pump, Ismatec Reglo Digital M2-2/12
This pump is included in the Q-Sense Explorer system (previously Q-Sense E1). The Compact Reglo Digital has a low pulsation flow and also provides very low flow rates. Further information can be found here.
Syringe pump, Univentor—864 QS
As an alternative to peristaltic pumps, Q-Sense offers the Univentor 864 QS pump. It comes with an easy-to-use control software developed by Q-Sense and a liquid handling set for simple operation with the Q-Sense Analyzer system (previously Q-Sense E4).
Accurate temperature control is important for accurate QCM-D measurements. For optimal results of measurements at temperatures different from room temperature, pre-heating or pre-cooling of samples may be required. Q-Sense can recommend the best temperature regulator for your application.
When taking measurements at elevated temperatures, Q-Sense recommends pre-heating of samples for optimal measurement stability. Grant QBD1 is a high precision dry block heating system with digital temperature control and a single removable/interchangeable block that enables efficient pre-heating of samples.
More information can be found here.
The F12-MA Refrigerator/Heating Circulator from Julabo can be used to heat and cool the Q-Sense Pro sample tray as well as supporting applications run directly in the bath.
More information can be found here.
A hot plate will be needed for measurements at elevated temperatures with the Explorer and Analyzer. We offer a hotplate suitable for the Analyzer chamber as well as for the QHTC.
- Contact us for more information.
Contains parts to operate the Q-Sense instruments: sensor cleaning holder, sensor cleaning solution, tweezers, screwdriver for the Standard Flow Module, beakers and tubing cutter.
Liquid Handling set
Contains all the necessary parts for a complete flow set-up for four Q-Sense Flow Modules: HPLC fittings, tubing, O-rings and gaskets.
Q-Sense provides a full range of replacement parts individually, such as tubing, ferrules, O-rings (also highly resistant in Kalrez®), perifits, nuts and sealing gaskets. Please contact us for further information.
The sensor is a critical part of a QCM-D experiment; in order to ensure optimal results in your lab, we therefore guarantee the quality and stability of all our standard Q-Sensors. We offer a wide range of coatings, as well as customized coatings.
We have in-house development of sensors as well as collaborations with customers, universities and companies to explore new applications. If you can’t find your desired material below, do as many other customers have already done, please contact us for an enquiry.
Over time we have developed many different sensor coatings – and we constantly keep adding to the list. Have a look below.
Inspirational customer cases
Example of model systems
Example of applications
|Aluminium (Al)||Electrodes||Electrochemistry, lithium insertion, energy|
|Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3)||Water treatment plant, nanoparticles||Environmental|
|AlSiO||Kaolinite mimic||Energy, mining|
|Amorphous Fluoropolymer AF1600 from DuPont||Teflon, non-stick surfaces, inert surfaces||Protein surfaces, cleaning and detergent analysis, petroleum|
|Barium Titanate (BaTiO3)||Dielectric ceramic used for capacitors|
|Biotin (on gold)||Biological, biochemical interaction||Molecular biology, protein interactions, antigens|
|Borosilicate glass||Labware, syringes, cookware||Pharmaceuticals, cleaning and detergent anlysis|
|Cellulose (on SiO2)||Fabric, filter, fiber||Enzyme interactions, cleaning and detergent analysis, electrochemistry, biofuels|
|Chromium (Cr)||Coating||Corrosion, electronics|
|Cobalt (Co)||Orthopedic implant, battery, pigment, porcelain||Medical device, energy, electroplating|
|Copper (Cu)||Wire, cables, coating||Corrosion, antifouling|
|Gold (Ag)||Universal surface||Thiols, anything – everything sticks to gold|
|Gold (Ti Adhesion)||Universal surface||Fundamental electrochemistry|
|Graphene oxide*||Graphene Oxide||Electronics, energy storage, biomedical applications and biosensors|
|His-tag Capturing||Biological, biochemical interactions||Antibody studies, protein-protein, probing of conformational changes|
|Hydroxyapatite||Bone, teeth, bioinspired material, mineral||Biomaterials, medical device|
|Iron (Fe)||Combustion engine, nano particles||Corrosion, environmental transport, energy|
|Iron Oxide (Fe2O3)||Hematite mimic, nanoparticles, pipelines||Solar energy, photocatalyst, energy, environmental|
|Iron Oxide (Fe3O4)||Magnetite mimic, pipelines, nanoparticles||Pigment catalyst, corrosion, biofilm formation, environmental transport, energy|
|Indium Tin Oxide (ITO on Au)||Solar panel||Energy, solar cells|
|Magnesium (Mg)||Mineral||Energy, mining, also used in cars, bikes, cell phones|
|Molybdenum (Mo)||Mineral||Energy, mining (also replaces Tungsten in some applications and used as fertalizer)|
|NHS-Amine Coupling||Biological, biochemical interaction||Protein interactions, molecular biology, antigens|
|Nylon “6,6”||Nylon fabric||Cleaning and detergent analysis|
|Polyethylenimine (PEI)||Additive, flocculating agent||Detergents, adhesives, water treatment agents, cosmetics, wet-strength agent in the paper-making process.|
|Platinum (Pt)||Electrodes||Fuel cells, catalytic converters, energy|
|Polystyrene (Ps)||Hydrophobic surface, filters||Cell studies, inert surfaces, filter interaction, medical device|
|Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA)||Plexiglass, microfluidic material, biomaterial, bonecement, dentalfilling, lenses||Biomedical, aquariums, car headlights|
|Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF)||Plastic, pharmaceutical filter and falcon tube||Container interactions, harmaceutical industry|
|Silicon (Si)||Semiconductor||Energy, etching|
|Silicon Carbide (SiC)||Rare mineral moissanite, carbone supporters, electrodes||Energy, catalysts, electronics|
|Silicon Dioxide (SiO2)||Glass||Etching processes, silanization, cleaning and detergent analysis|
|Silicon Nitride (SiN)||Biomaterials, integrated circuits||Electronics, medical device|
|Silicon Oxycarbide (SiOC)||Carbon supports, electrodes||Catalysts, LEDs, brakes, graphene production, energy|
|Silver (Ag)||Nano particles, antimicrobial coating||Environmental transport, coatings, materials|
|Soda-lime glass||Household glass (bottles, jars) labware||Cleaning products, surface interactions|
|Stainless Steel (SS2343, US 316)||Acid resistant steel||Environmental, polluted industrial or city environments|
|Stainless Steel (L605)||Stents||Medical device, biomaterials, blood coagulation|
|Tantalum (Ta)||Electrodes, reactors||Alloys, electronics, energy|
|Tantalum Nitride (TaN)||Electrodes||Electronics|
|Titanium (Ti)||Medical implants||Medical device, biomaterials|
|Tungsten (W)||Electrodes||Etching processes|
|Zinc Oxide (ZnO)||Minerals||Mining, energy, rubber manufacture, ceramic industry, calamine lotion|
|Zinc Sulfide (ZnS)||Mineral||Energy, mining, luminiscent and optical material, pigment|
|Zirconium Oxide (ZrO)||Ceramics, fuel cell, membrane||Alloys sintering, energy|
|Standardized used cooking oil|
|Mixed starch, colored||(CFT DM 77)|
|Egg Yolk, double||(CFT DM 22)|
|Coffee with milk||(CFT DM 83)|
Sensors come in packs of minimum 5.
*Developed in collaboration with ICN2
* * deposited on SiO2
New updated analysis software for QCM-D data.
Q-Sense Dfind is the new analysis software from Q-Sense. It will help you to extract information such as mass, thickness, viscoelastic properties, adsorption rates etc and present it in a simple way.
We are super excited about our new, easy-to-use software for analyzing QCM-D data.
The new Q-Sense Dfind software features the following benefits:
- Visco-elastic modelling at your fingertips.
- Analyse QCM-D data in automated batch mode.
- Less input. More output. With preset parameters, methods and reports.
The new software is available for download today.
All data treatment and analysis tools in one unified program
Q-Sense™ Dfind covers all aspects needed in an analysis program. It assists you all the way from your raw data reviewing, through the modelling, to the information extraction and the final report. The graphical and intuitive interface efficiently helps you quantify, compile and compare your data, from start to end.
Exploit the full potential of the information content in your data
Q-Sense™ Dfind helps you unveil and extract all the relevant information content embedded in your data. In addition to the software assisted modelling of mass and viscoelastic parameters, Q-Sense™ Dfind supports a range of qualitative and quantitative analysis methods.
Analyze all your data in one go
Equipped with a powerful analysis engine, Q-Sense™ Dfind enables fast and efficient analysis of multiple data sets in one go. Save time and review, model and analyze multiple data sets simultanoeusly. Organize projects and share your favorite templates with colleagues, keep track of important experiments and tools.
Watch our recorded demos to learn more about how Q-Sense Dfind will simplify your data handling and analysis!