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Exotic Behavior When Mechanical Devices Reach the Nanoscale, Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology Reveals



5/16/2011 7:46:00 AM

Most mechanical resonators damp (slow down) in a well-understood linear manner, but ground-breaking work by Prof. Adrian Bachtold and his research group at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology has shown that resonators formed from nanoscale graphene and carbon nanotubes exhibit nonlinear damping, opening up exciting possibilities for super-sensitive detectors of force or mass. In an article to be published in Nature Nanotechnology (DOI – 10.1038/NNANO.2011.71), Prof. Bachtold and his co-researchers describe how they formed nano-scale resonators by suspending tiny graphene sheets or carbon nanotubes and clamping them at each end. These devices, similar to guitar strings, can be set to vibrate at very specific frequencies.

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