Report

Strong Coupling Between Single-Electron Tunneling and Nanomechanical Motion

Science  28 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5944, pp. 1103-1107
DOI: 10.1126/science.1176076

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Abstract

Nanoscale resonators that oscillate at high frequencies are useful in many measurement applications. We studied a high-quality mechanical resonator made from a suspended carbon nanotube driven into motion by applying a periodic radio frequency potential using a nearby antenna. Single-electron charge fluctuations created periodic modulations of the mechanical resonance frequency. A quality factor exceeding 105 allows the detection of a shift in resonance frequency caused by the addition of a single-electron charge on the nanotube. Additional evidence for the strong coupling of mechanical motion and electron tunneling is provided by an energy transfer to the electrons causing mechanical damping and unusual nonlinear behavior. We also discovered that a direct current through the nanotube spontaneously drives the mechanical resonator, exerting a force that is coherent with the high-frequency resonant mechanical motion.

  • Present address: Institute for Experimental and Applied Physics, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany.

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