Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Ronald A. Coutu, Jr., PhD


In order to effectively neutralize non-traditional threats to US forces and population such as improvised explosive devices (IED) and chemical, biological, radio- logical, nuclear, and explosive (CBNRE) weapons, a flexible vapor sensor platform is proposed. This work involves the design, fabrication, and testing of coated surface acoustic wave devices for vapor sensing ability. Devices were fabricated in-house using MEMS fabrication techniques, then coated with a thin layer of a Nafion polymer. The frequency response of coated devices displayed 2 MHz frequency shifts around the resonance frequency upon introduction of ethanol vapors into the nitrogen vapor stream. This indicates strong sensing ability based upon the viscoelastic changes in the polymer film. Further work should include new coating layers such as biological molecule self-assembled monolayers, circuitry to allow portability, and a preconcentrator to increase sensitivity.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Not to be confused with Daniel M. Gallagher (M.S., 2014), at