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Nanomechanical Torsional Resonators for Frequency-Shift Infrared Thermal Sensing

Zhang, X. C. and Myers, E. B. and Sader, J. E. and Roukes, M. L. (2013) Nanomechanical Torsional Resonators for Frequency-Shift Infrared Thermal Sensing. Nano Letters, 13 (4). pp. 1528-1534. ISSN 1530-6984. doi:10.1021/nl304687p.

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We investigate use of nanomechanical torsional resonators for frequency-shift-based infrared (IR) thermal sensing. Nanoscale torsion rods, ~1 μm long and 50–100 nm in diameter, provide both extraordinary thermal isolation and excellent angular displacement and torque sensitivities, of order ~10^(–7) rad·Hz^(–1/2) and 10^(–22) (N·m) Hz^(–1/2), respectively. Furthermore, these nanorods act as linear torsional springs, yielding a maximum angular displacement of 3.6° and a dynamic range of over 100 dB; this exceeds the performance of flexural modes by as much as 5 orders of magnitude. These attributes lead to superior noise performance for torsional-mode sensing. We demonstrate the operational principles of torsional-mode IR detection, attaining an uncooled noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of 390 mK. By modeling the fundamental noise processes, we project that further reduction of device size can significantly improve thermal responsivity; a room-temperature NETD below 10 mK appears feasible.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Sader, J. E.0000-0002-7096-0627
Roukes, M. L.0000-0002-2916-6026
Additional Information:© 2013 American Chemical Society. Received: December 19, 2012; Revised: February 14, 2013; Published: March 4, 2013. Published In Issue April 10, 2013. We thank L.G. Villanueva for stimulating discussions, X. L. Feng for a critical reading of the manuscript, R. B. Karabalin for help in the optical measurement, D. Chi for assistance in electron beam lithography, and J. E. Sader acknowledges support from the Australian Research Council grants scheme. We are grateful for the support from DARPA/MTO under the Grant W31P4Q-10-1-0006.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)W31P4Q-10-1-0006
Subject Keywords:Nanoelectromechanical systems; torsional resonator; infrared sensor; thermal imaging
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130521-115710439
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Official Citation:Nanomechanical Torsional Resonators for Frequency-Shift Infrared Thermal Sensing X. C. Zhang, E. B. Myers, J. E. Sader, and M. L. Roukes Nano Letters 2013 13 (4), 1528-1534
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38605
Deposited On:22 May 2013 23:03
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:38

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