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Time-domain control of ultrahigh-frequency nanomechanical systems


Nanoelectromechanical systems could have applications in fields as diverse as ultrasensitive mass detection1,2,3 and mechanical computation4,5,6, and can also be used to explore fundamental phenomena such as quantized heat conductance7 and quantum-limited displacement8,9. Most nanomechanical studies to date have been performed in the frequency domain. However, applications in computation10 and information storage11 will require transient excitation and high-speed time-domain operation of nanomechanical systems. Here we show a time-resolved optical approach to the transduction of ultrahigh-frequency nanoelectromechanical systems, and demonstrate that coherent control of nanomechanical oscillation is possible through appropriate pulse programming. A series of cantilevers with resonant frequencies ranging from less than 10 MHz to over 1 GHz are characterized using the same pulse parameters.

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Figure 1: Apparatus and response to an impulse excitation.
Figure 2: Spatiotemporal characterization of cantilever response.
Figure 3: Resonant frequencies.
Figure 4: Coherent control of nanoelectromechanical oscillations using a rectangular voltage pulse shape.

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This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the informatics Circle of Research Excellence, Canada Research Chairs, and the National Institute for Nanotechnology. The samples were fabricated at the Nanofab of the University of Alberta and SEM imaging was performed at the Electron Microscopy facilities of the National Institute for Nanotechnology. N. Liu acknowledges the support of the Avadh Bhatia Postdoctoral Fellowship. We thank S. Masamanidis and M. Roukes for the discussions that inspired this work, and Y. Ning for assistance in the early stages of the project.

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M.F., W.H. and G.M. conceived and designed the experiments. F.G., A.F. and J.M. built the apparatus. M.B., N.L., V.S. and T.C. performed the micro- and nanofabrication. N.L., F.G., J.L. and J.M. performed the experiments. N.L., F.G., W.H. and M.F. co-wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to M. R. Freeman.

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Liu, N., Giesen, F., Belov, M. et al. Time-domain control of ultrahigh-frequency nanomechanical systems. Nature Nanotech 3, 715–719 (2008).

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