CSAIL Event Calendar: Previous Series
Nanoelectromechanical system – mechanical devices to study nanoscale physics, weigh molecules, and sniff nerve gases
Speaker: Dr. Hong Tang , Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology
The emerging nanoelectromechanical system provides great advantages for both fundamental studies and technological applications. I will first focus on GaAs based nanomechanical devices in the study of confined quantum system, and the mechanical measurement of thin film Spintronics materials. I will then move beyond vacuum and describe the operation of silicon based NEMS in gaseous and fluidic environments. At ambient pressure, in contract to common belief that nanomechanical devices lose their mechanical quality factors, instead, our nanomechanical resonators have demonstrated sensitive mass detection at the level of individual molecules, with mass sensitivity reaching sub-attogram (10-19g). As a specific application, these nanomechanical sensors have shown promise in detecting chemical warfare agents at part per trillion level (ppt). In the fluidic environment of the nano-bio interface, nanomechanical devices face close-to-zero Reynolds number fluidic damping. I will present our approaches to overcome this problem and demonstrate mechanical detection of individual pathogens. Finally, I will discuss some exciting prospects of extending NEMS to cross-disciplinary areas of nanoscale biochemistry, microfluidics and nanophotonics.