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A nanometre-scale mechanical electrometer

Cleland, A. N. and Roukes, M. L. (1998) A nanometre-scale mechanical electrometer. Nature, 392 (6672). pp. 160-162. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/32373.

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The mechanical detection of charge has a long history, dating back more than 200 years to Coulomb's torsion-balance electrometer. The modern analogues of such instruments are semiconductor-based field-effect devices, the most sensitive of which are cryogenically cooled single-electron transistors. But although these latter devices have extremely high charge sensitivity, they suffer from limited bandwidth and must be operated at millikelvin temperatures in order to reduce thermal noise. Here we report the fabrication and characterization of a working nanometre-scale mechanical electrometer. We achieve a charge sensitivity of 0.1 e Hz^(-0.5), competitive with conventional semiconductor field-effect transistors; moreover, thermal noise analysis indicates that the nanometre-scale electrometer should ultimately reach sensitivities of the order of 10^(-6) e Hz^(-0.5), comparable with charge-detection capabilities of cryogenic single-electron transistors. The nanometre-scale electrometer has the additional advantages of high temperature (≥4.2 K) operation and response over a larger bandwidth, from which a diversity of applications may result.

Item Type:Article
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Roukes, M. L.0000-0002-2916-6026
Additional Information:© 1998 Macmillan Publishers Ltd. Received 14 August; accepted 29 December 1997. This work was supported by DARPA ETO/MEMS.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6672
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150608-085753621
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58072
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Jun 2015 17:56
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:58

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