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QCM-I Mini

Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation and Impedance Measurement  (QCMD)

The QCM-I MiniTM Quartz Crystal Microbalance measures the changes in frequency and dissipation of a quartz crystal resonator and any adsorbed film.  QCMs are high-sensitivity mass sensors, useful in any number of applications - biosensors, chemical sensors, corrosion, polymer films, nanoparticle films, protein films, biofilms, etc. These changes in frequency and dissipation give information relating to changes in mass, viscosity, and elasticity of films. 

The QCM-I, QCM-I Mini, and eQCM-I Mini are manufactured by MicroVacuum Ltd. ( of Budapest, Hungary. MicroVacuum has integrated control of our USB-based potentiostats into their BioSense software (V3 or higher). Gamry has partnered with MicroVacuum for distribution of these instruments.

QCM-I Mini Product Details

QCM-I Mini Features:

  • Both frequency and quality of resonance (FWHM or Bandwidth or Dissipation) are measured
  • Different harmonics (up to the 13th Overtone at 5MHz Crystals) can be quickly and sequentially measured
  • Temperature control from 15° C to 60° (± 0,02° C) in included on one channel
  • Two independently measured channels
  • External PC with Windows® 10/11 Communication with QCM-I Mini via USB

QCM-D Quartz Crystal Microbalance uses BioSense software

 The software performs full control of the QCM-I Mini Instrument.  Two measurement modes are available:

  1. Resonance:  Measurement of resonance curve and calculation of the resonance frequency & FWHM up to 80 MHz
  2. QCM-t:  Continuous measurement of the resonance parameters and the temperature of the flow-cell.

Calculation:  Various QCM and ad-layer parameters can be calculated using standard or custom made models.  All these parameters can be displayed on the screen, printed, saved or can be exported for further evaluation.

What's Included:

  • QCM Unit with two channels (one channel is temperature controlled)
  • Microsoft® Surface Pro Tablet with Windows® 10 Pro
  • QSH-014 QCM Sensor Holder (flow through type)
  • BioSense 3.xx Software (one user license)

QCM-I Mini Specifications

Technical Information

Measuring Principle

The QCM-I Mini unit is a high sensitivity mass sensor which measures
the change in frequency of a quartz crystal resonator and
as a label free biosensor it measures the “wet mass” of the
adsorbed layer in processes occurring at or near the sensor
surface. The measuring principle is based on impedance analysis
of the quartz crystal. The resonant frequency (fres) and the
bandwidth of the resonant conductance curve are determined.
The bandwidth or full width at half maximum (FWHM) is in direct
correlation with the quality factor (Q) which is by definition
the inverse of the well known dissipation (D).

Measurement Channels 2
1st : Temperature controlled
2nd : Connection for a variety of external sensor-holder modules
Frequency Range 1-80 MHz,up to the 13th overtone for a 5 MHz Crystal

Resonance Frequency
Sensitivity in Liquid

≤ 2 x 10-1 Hz

Dissipation Sensitivity
in Liquid

≤ 1 x 10-7

Mass Sensitivity in Liquid *

≤ 1 ng/cm2

Parameters Recorded
for each Overtone

Resonance Curve, Frequency, ΔFrequency, FWHM, ΔFWHM, Q,
Dissipation, ΔDissipation, Temperature, etc.

Temperature Control

Working Temperature 15 oC to 60 oC
Temperature Stability ± 0.02 oC
Temperature control Set manually or via software

Fluidic and Sample

Flow Cell Volume ~ 40 μl (typical with Ø14 mm crystals)
Wetted Parts  PTFE, PEEK, SS, VITON (or Kalrez )
Sample Loading Customer Supplied or Integrated Options
Pump  Customer Supplied, Syringe Pump or Integrated Peristaltic Options
Other Sample Cell Options

Electrochemical flow-cell, Open Cuvette, Immersion, Vacuum,
High-pressure, Remote Low-profile, Ellipsometry, Microscopy,

Physical Dimensions
(without the computer)

Dimensions, weight 180 mm x 175 mm x 68mm, 1.35 Kg


BioSense Universal software platform for QCM & EC measurements
Import / Export of data Export to third party software Excel, JPG, BPM, WMF etc. 
PC Control USB 2.0, Windows® 10 


Power Supply 12VDC power supply with universal input voltage
( 100V-240V AC / 50-60 Hz )

* The Sauerbrey relation is assumed to be valid.
All specifications are subject to change without notice.

QCM-I Mini Manuals

QCM-I Mini Accessories


  • QSH-014 - QCM sensor holder with flow cell for 14 mm crystals (Part #974-00001)
  • O-ring kit for QSH-014 -- 1 pc 12x2mm Silicone with Au wires, 3 pcs 12x2mm Viton (Part #974-00016)
  • PCB-kit for QSH-014 with M2.5 screws (Part #974-00020)
  • Nut and ferrule set (5 sets of P259 flangeless ferrules and P252 nuts 1/4-28 flat bottom) (Part #974-00022)
  • Nut and ferrule set (5 sets of M650 flangeless ferrules and M644-03 nuts 6-40 flat bottom) (Part #974-00023)
  • Luer (female) connector with 1/4-28 union  (Part #974-00024)
  • Perifit to connect Teflon tube to Tygon pump tube, PEEK, fits nut MV-SP-007 (Part #974-00025)
  • FEP tubing (OD 1/16”, ID 0.03”, 10ft long) (Part #974-00026)
  • RF cable-kit (200 mm long) to connect remote QCM sensor holder to main unit (Part #974-00027)
  • Cleaning holder to hold six (6) crystals, PEEK (Part #974-00028)
  • RF calibration-kit for service purposes (Part #974-00029)
  • Calibration-kit for training purposes (Part #974-00030)
  • Test electrical cable with 1mm banana socket and 2mm banana socket, Silicone, 500mm long (Part #974-00031)
  • Test electrical cable with 1mm banana socket and 4mm banana socket, Silicone, 500mm long (Part #974-00032)
  • Test electrical cable with 2mm banana plug and 2mm banana socket, Silicone, 500mm long (Part #974-00033)
  • Test electrical cable with 2mm banana plug and 4mm banana socket, Silicone, 500mm long (Part #974-00034)
  • QSH-dip - QCM sensor holder for dip-in applications (Part #974-00003)
  • QSH-vac - QCM sensor holder for vacuum applications (Part #974-00004)
  • QSH-HT-HP - QCM sensor holder for high temperature and high pressure applications (Part #974-00005)
  • QSH-ext - extension RF cable assembly for remote QCM sensor holder (Part #974-00006)
  • QMH - QCM measuring head with temperature control (Part #974-00007)
  • UVO - mini UV Ozone cleaner (Part #974-00008)
  • PSC-10 - plasma surface cleaner (Part #974-00009)
  • SYR-2 - two-channel syringe pump (Part #974-00010)
  • SASV - semi-automatic switching valve with BioSense 3.xx software module (Part #974-00011)
  • BioSense - BioSense 3.xx software, second user license (Part #974-00012)
  • BioSense upgrade - BioSense 2.xx software upgrade to BioSense 3.xx (Part #974-00013)
  • BioSense EC upgrade - BioSense 3.xx software upgrade to BioSense EC 3.xx (Part #974-00014)
  • Customer training - customer training via internet (max. 4 hours) to use the QCM and Biosense (Part #974-00015)

Quartz Crystals Available at the Gamry On-Line Store

Application Notes