Modeling and characterization of nanoelectromechanical systems


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Virginia Tech


Microelectromechanical structures (MEMS) are used commercially in sensor applications and in recent years much research effort has been done to implement them in wireless communication. Electron beam lithography and other advancements in fabrication technology allowed to shrink the size of MEMS to nanomechanical systems (NEMS). Since NEMS are just a couple of 100 nm in size, highly integrated sensor applications are possible. Since NEMS consume only little energy, this will allow continuous monitoring of all the important functions in hospitals, in manufacturing plants, on aircrafts, or even within the human body.

This thesis discusses the modeling of NEM resonators. Loss mechanisms of macroscale resonators, and how they apply to NEM resonators, will be reviewed. Electron beam lithography and the fabrication process of Silicon NEM resonator will be described. The emphasis of this work was to build a test setup for temperature dependant measurements. Therefore different feasible techniques to detect nanoscale vibration will be compared and the setup used in this work will be discussed. The successful detection of nanoscale vibration and preliminary results of the temperature dependence of the quality factor of a paddle resonator will be reported. A new approach to fabricate NEM resonator using electrofluidic assembly will be introduced.



Nanomechanical resonator, NEMS, Nanotechnology