Dynamics of NEMS resonators across dissipation limits
Applied Physics Letters
AIP Publishing LLC
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The oscillatory dynamics of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) is at the heart of many emerging applications in nanotechnology. For common NEMS, such as beams and strings, the oscillatory dynamics is formulated using a dissipationless wave equation derived from elasticity. Under a harmonic ansatz, the wave equation gives an undamped free vibration equation; solving this equation with the proper boundary conditions provides the undamped eigenfunctions with the familiar standing wave patterns. Any harmonically driven solution is expressible in terms of these undamped eigenfunctions. Here, we show that this formalism becomes inconvenient as dissipation increases. To this end, we experimentally map out the position- and frequency-dependent oscillatory motion of a NEMS string resonator driven linearly by a non-symmetric force at one end at different dissipation limits. At low dissipation (high Q factor), we observe sharp resonances with standing wave patterns that closely match the eigenfunctions of an undamped string. With a slight increase in dissipation, the standing wave patterns become lost, and waves begin to propagate along the nanostructure. At large dissipation (low Q factor), these propagating waves become strongly attenuated and display little, if any, resemblance to the undamped string eigenfunctions. A more efficient and intuitive description of the oscillatory dynamics of a NEMS resonator can be obtained by superposition of waves propagating along the nanostructure.