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Ultimate limits to inertial mass sensing based upon nanoelectromechanical systems

Ekinci, K. L. and Yang, Y. T. and Roukes, M. L. (2004) Ultimate limits to inertial mass sensing based upon nanoelectromechanical systems. Journal of Applied Physics, 95 (3). pp. 2682-2689. ISSN 0021-8979. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:EKIjap04

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Abstract

Nanomechanical resonators can now be realized that achieve fundamental resonance frequencies exceeding 1 GHz, with quality factors (Q) in the range 10^3<=Q<=10^5. The minuscule active masses of these devices, in conjunction with their high Qs, translate into unprecedented inertial mass sensitivities. This makes them natural candidates for a variety of mass sensing applications. Here we evaluate the ultimate mass sensitivity limits for nanomechanical resonators operating in vacuo that are imposed by a number of fundamental physical noise processes. Our analyses indicate that nanomechanical resonators offer immense potential for mass sensing—ultimately with resolution at the level of individual molecules.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:©2004 American Institute of Physics. (Received 17 September 2003; accepted 26 November 2003) K.L.E. acknowledges financial support from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0216274. Y.T.Y. and M.L.R. are grateful to DARPA MTO/MEMS and SPAWAR for supporting this work under Grant No. N66001-01-X-6004/02-8914/1000000928. The authors acknowledge many fruitful conversations with A. Vandelay.
Subject Keywords:Q-factor; noise; sensitivity; nanotechnology; micromechanical resonators; microsensors; mass measurement
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:EKIjap04
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:EKIjap04
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1642738
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2556
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:10 Apr 2006
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 08:49

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