# Mechanical stiffening, bistability, and bit operations in a microcantilever

Abstract: We investigate the nonlinear dynamics of microcantilevers. We demonstrate mechanical stiffening of the frequency response at large amplitudes, originating from the geometric nonlinearity. At strong driving the cantilever amplitude is bistable. We map the bistable regime as a function of drive frequency and amplitude, and suggest several applications for the bistable microcantilever, of which a mechanical memory is demonstrated.

Topics: Bistability (59%), Frequency response (51%)

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TL;DR: This review provides insight into the mechanical phenomena that occur in suspended mechanical structures when either biological adsorption or interactions take place on their surface: mass, surface stress, effective Young's modulus and viscoelasticity.

Abstract: The advances in micro- and nanofabrication technologies enable the preparation of increasingly smaller mechanical transducers capable of detecting the forces, motion, mechanical properties and masses that emerge in biomolecular interactions and fundamental biological processes. Thus, biosensors based on nanomechanical systems have gained considerable relevance in the last decade. This review provides insight into the mechanical phenomena that occur in suspended mechanical structures when either biological adsorption or interactions take place on their surface. This review guides the reader through the parameters that change as a consequence of biomolecular adsorption: mass, surface stress, effective Young's modulus and viscoelasticity. The mathematical background needed to correctly interpret the output signals from nanomechanical biosensors is also outlined here. Other practical issues reviewed are the immobilization of biomolecular receptors on the surface of nanomechanical systems and methods to attain that in large arrays of sensors. We then describe some relevant realizations of biosensor devices based on nanomechanical systems that harness some of the mechanical effects cited above. We finally discuss the intrinsic detection limits of the devices and the limitation that arises from non-specific adsorption.

286 citations

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TL;DR: The high-amplitude operation of a buckled resonator coupled to an optical cavity is demonstrated by using a highly efficient process to generate enough phonons in the resonator to overcome the energy barrier in the double-well potential.

Abstract: The ability to control mechanical motion with optical forces has made it possible to cool mechanical resonators to their quantum ground states. The same techniques can also be used to amplify rather than reduce the mechanical motion of such systems. Here, we study nanomechanical resonators that are slightly buckled and therefore have two stable configurations, denoted 'buckled up' and 'buckled down', when they are at rest. The motion of these resonators can be described by a double-well potential with a large central energy barrier between the two stable configurations. We demonstrate the high-amplitude operation of a buckled resonator coupled to an optical cavity by using a highly efficient process to generate enough phonons in the resonator to overcome the energy barrier in the double-well potential. This allows us to observe the first evidence for nanomechanical slow-down and a zero-frequency singularity predicted by theorists. We also demonstrate a non-volatile mechanical memory element in which bits are written and reset by using optomechanical backaction to direct the relaxation of a resonator in the high-amplitude regime to a specific stable configuration.

206 citations

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TL;DR: A reprogrammable logic device based on the electrothermal frequency modulation scheme of a single microelectromechanical resonator, capable of performing all the fundamental 2- bit logic functions as well as n-bit logic operations, and promises an alternative electromechanical computing scheme.

Abstract: In modern computing, the Boolean logic operations are set by interconnect schemes between the transistors. As the miniaturization in the component level to enhance the computational power is rapidly approaching physical limits, alternative computing methods are vigorously pursued. One of the desired aspects in the future computing approaches is the provision for hardware reconfigurability at run time to allow enhanced functionality. Here we demonstrate a reprogrammable logic device based on the electrothermal frequency modulation scheme of a single microelectromechanical resonator, capable of performing all the fundamental 2-bit logic functions as well as n-bit logic operations. Logic functions are performed by actively tuning the linear resonance frequency of the resonator operated at room temperature and under modest vacuum conditions, reprogrammable by the a.c.-driving frequency. The device is fabricated using complementary metal oxide semiconductor compatible mass fabrication process, suitable for on-chip integration, and promises an alternative electromechanical computing scheme.

116 citations

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TL;DR: An experimental protocol and a highly linear transduction scheme, specifically designed for NEMS, that enables accurate, in situ characterization of device nonlinearities and assessment of the validity of the approach is found.

Abstract: Understanding and controlling nonlinear coupling between vibrational modes is critical for the development of advanced nanomechanical devices; it has important implications for applications ranging from quantitative sensing to fundamental research. However, achieving accurate experimental characterization of nonlinearities in nanomechanical systems (NEMS) is problematic. Currently employed detection and actuation schemes themselves tend to be highly nonlinear, and this unrelated nonlinear response has been inadvertently convolved into many previous measurements. In this Letter we describe an experimental protocol and a highly linear transduction scheme, specifically designed for NEMS, that enables accurate, in situ characterization of device nonlinearities. By comparing predictions from Euler–Bernoulli theory for the intra- and intermodal nonlinearities of a doubly clamped beam, we assess the validity of our approach and find excellent agreement.

101 citations

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Abstract: Euler-Bernoulli beam theory is widely used to successfully predict the linear dynamics of micro- and nanocantilever beams. However, its capacity to characterize the nonlinear dynamics of these devices has not yet been rigorously assessed, despite its use in nanoelectromechanical systems development. In this article, we report the first highly controlled measurements of the nonlinear response of nanomechanical cantilevers using an ultralinear detection system. This is performed for an extensive range of devices to probe the validity of Euler-Bernoulli theory in the nonlinear regime. We find that its predictions deviate strongly from our measurements for the nonlinearity of the fundamental flexural mode, which show a systematic dependence on aspect ratio (length/width) together with random scatter. This contrasts with the second mode, which is always found to be in good agreement with theory. These findings underscore the delicate balance between inertial and geometric nonlinear effects in the fundamental mode, and strongly motivate further work to develop theories beyond the Euler-Bernoulli approximation.

101 citations

##### References

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IBM

^{1}TL;DR: The long relaxation time of the measured signal suggests that the state of an individual spin can be monitored for extended periods of time, even while subjected to a complex set of manipulations that are part of the MRFM measurement protocol.

Abstract: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is well known as a powerful technique for visualizing subsurface structures with three-dimensional spatial resolution. Pushing the resolution below 1 micro m remains a major challenge, however, owing to the sensitivity limitations of conventional inductive detection techniques. Currently, the smallest volume elements in an image must contain at least 10(12) nuclear spins for MRI-based microscopy, or 10(7) electron spins for electron spin resonance microscopy. Magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM) was proposed as a means to improve detection sensitivity to the single-spin level, and thus enable three-dimensional imaging of macromolecules (for example, proteins) with atomic resolution. MRFM has also been proposed as a qubit readout device for spin-based quantum computers. Here we report the detection of an individual electron spin by MRFM. A spatial resolution of 25 nm in one dimension was obtained for an unpaired spin in silicon dioxide. The measured signal is consistent with a model in which the spin is aligned parallel or anti-parallel to the effective field, with a rotating-frame relaxation time of 760 ms. The long relaxation time suggests that the state of an individual spin can be monitored for extended periods of time, even while subjected to a complex set of manipulations that are part of the MRFM measurement protocol.

1,288 citations

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Abstract: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is well known as a powerful technique for visualizing subsurface structures with three-dimensional spatial resolution. Pushing the resolution below 1 µm remains a major challenge, however, owing to the sensitivity limitations of conventional inductive detection techniques. Currently, the smallest volume elements in an image must contain at least 1012 nuclear spins for MRI-based microscopy, or 107 electron spins for electron spin resonance microscopy. Magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM) was proposed as a means to improve detection sensitivity to the single-spin level, and thus enable three-dimensional imaging of macromolecules (for example, proteins) with atomic resolution. MRFM has also been proposed as a qubit readout device for spin-based quantum computers. Here we report the detection of an individual electron spin by MRFM. A spatial resolution of 25 nm in one dimension was obtained for an unpaired spin in silicon dioxide. The measured signal is consistent with a model in which the spin is aligned parallel or anti-parallel to the effective field, with a rotating-frame relaxation time of 760 ms. The long relaxation time suggests that the state of an individual spin can be monitored for extended periods of time, even while subjected to a complex set of manipulations that are part of the MRFM measurement protocol.

1,192 citations

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Abstract: To achieve high-resolution topographs of native biological macromolecules in aqueous solution with the atomic force microscope (AFM) interactions between AFM tip and sample need to be considered. Short-range forces produce the submolecular information of high-resolution topographs. In contrast, no significant high-resolution information is provided by the long-range electrostatic double-layer force. However, this force can be adjusted by pH and electrolytes to distribute the force applied to the AFM tip over a large sample area. As demonstrated on fragile biological samples, adjustment of the electrolyte solution results in a local reduction of both vertical and lateral forces between the AFM tip and proteinous substructures. Under such electrostatically balanced conditions, the deformation of the native protein is minimized and the sample surface can be reproducibly contoured at a lateral resolution of 0.6 nm.

345 citations

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01 Jan 1978Abstract: This paper is divided into two parts. The authors’ purpose in Part I is to formulate a set of mathematically consistent governing differential equations of motion describing the nonplanar, nonlinear dynamics of an inextensional beam. The beam is assumed to undergo flexure about two principal axes and torsion. The equations are developed with the objective of retaining contributions due to nonlinear curvature as well as nonlinear inertia. A priori ordering assumptions are avoided as much as possible in the process. The equations are expanded to contain nonlinearities up to order three to facilitate comparison with analogous equations in the literature, and to render them amenable to the study of moderately large amplitude flexural-torsional oscillations by perturbation techniques. The utilization of the order-three equations in the analysis of nonlinear beam oscillations is the subject of Part II.

342 citations

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Yale University

^{1}TL;DR: Pulsed microwave reflection measurements on nanofabricated Al junctions show that actual devices attain the performance predicted by theory, and the absence of on-chip dissipation is shown.

Abstract: We have constructed a new type of amplifier whose primary purpose is the readout of superconducting quantum bits. It is based on the transition of a rf-driven Josephson junction between two distinct oscillation states near a dynamical bifurcation point. The main advantages of this new amplifier are speed, high sensitivity, low backaction, and the absence of on-chip dissipation. Pulsed microwave reflection measurements on nanofabricated Al junctions show that actual devices attain the performance predicted by theory.

304 citations