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Nano Lett. 2013 Apr 10;13(4):1622-6. doi: 10.1021/nl400070e. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Nonlinear mode-coupling in nanomechanical systems.

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Kavli Nanoscience Institute and Departments of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, United States.


Understanding and controlling nonlinear coupling between vibrational modes is critical for the development of advanced nanomechanical devices; it has important implications for applications ranging from quantitative sensing to fundamental research. However, achieving accurate experimental characterization of nonlinearities in nanomechanical systems (NEMS) is problematic. Currently employed detection and actuation schemes themselves tend to be highly nonlinear, and this unrelated nonlinear response has been inadvertently convolved into many previous measurements. In this Letter we describe an experimental protocol and a highly linear transduction scheme, specifically designed for NEMS, that enables accurate, in situ characterization of device nonlinearities. By comparing predictions from Euler-Bernoulli theory for the intra- and intermodal nonlinearities of a doubly clamped beam, we assess the validity of our approach and find excellent agreement.

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