Navigation Links
Catching the lightwave: Nano-mechanical sensors 'wired' by photonics
Date:4/26/2009

New Haven, Conn. As researchers push towards detection of single molecules, single electron spins and the smallest amounts of mass and movement, Yale researchers have demonstrated silicon-based nanocantilevers, smaller than the wavelength of light, that operate on photonic principles eliminating the need for electric transducers and expensive laser setups.

The work reported in an April 26 advance online publication of Nature Nanotechnology ushers in a new generation of tools for ultra-sensitive measurements at the atomic level.

In nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), cantilevers are the most fundamental mechanical sensors. These tiny structures fixed at one end and free at the other act like nano-scale diving boards that "bend" when molecules "jump" on them and register a change that can be measured and calibrated. This paper demonstrates how NEMS can be improved by using integrated photonics to sense the cantilever motion.

"The system we developed is the most sensitive available that works at room temperature. Previously this level of sensitivity could only be achieved at extreme low temperatures" said senior author Hong Tang, assistant professor of electrical and mechanical engineering in the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Their system can detect as little deflection in the nano-cantilever sensors as 0.0001 Angstroms one ten thousandth of the size of an atom

To detect this tiny motion, the Yale team devised a photonic structure to guide the light wave through a cantilever. After exiting from the free end of the cantilever, the light tunnels through a nanometer gap and is collected on chip. "Detecting the lightwave after this evanescent tunneling," says Tang, "gives the unprecedented sensitivity."

Tang's paper also details the construction of a sensor multiplex a parallel array of 10 nano-cantilevers integrated on a single photonic wire. Each cantilever is a different length, like a key on a xylophone, so when one is displaced it registers its own distinctive "tone."

"A multiplex format lets us make more complex measurements of patterns simultaneously like a tune with chords instead of single notes," said postdoctoral fellow Mo Li, the lead author of the paper.

At the heart of this breakthrough is the novel way Tang's group "wired" the sensors with light. Their technique is not limited by the bandwidth constraints of electrical methods or the diffraction limits of light sources.

"We don't need a laser to operate these devices," said Wolfram Pernice, a co-author of the paper. "Very cheap LEDs will suffice." Futhermore, the LED light sources like the million LED pixels that make up a laptop computer screen can be scaled in size to integrate into a nanophotonic-chip an important feature for this application.

"This development reinforces the practicality of the new field of nanooptomechanics," says Tang, "and points to a future of compact, robust and scalable systems with high sensitivity that will find a wide range of future applications from chemical and biological sensing to optical signal processing."


'/>"/>

Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. NanoSensors, Inc. Announces Reorganization of Executive Management Team and Redirection of Operations
2. The sensitive side of carbon nanotubes: Creating powerful pressure sensors
3. Purdue creating wireless sensors to monitor bearings in jet engines
4. Model is first to compare performance of biosensors
5. Advanced Energy Consortium will develop micro and nanosensors to boost energy production
6. Biosensors Receives CE Mark Approval for Its BioMatrix(R) Drug-Eluting Coronary Stent System
7. DNA sensors found to be an effective artificial nose
8. T-ray breakthrough signals next generation of security sensors
9. Finesse Solutions Opens New E-Store for Sensors
10. Nanotube production leaps from sooty mess in test tube to ready formed chemical microsensors
11. Commencement 2008: Student innovation could improve data storage, magnetic sensors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Catching the lightwave: Nano-mechanical sensors 'wired' by photonics
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016 NX Prenatal ... its proprietary NeXosome® technology for early warning of ... its most recent study by Dr. Thomas ... the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine,s (SMFM) annual meeting ... 1-6 th , 2016.  The presentation reported initial ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing ... biotech companies, announced today the appointment of ... Jim brings nearly 25 years of experience in ... spent nearly two decades in executive level roles ... at Genzyme and, most recently headed global logistics ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... PatientCrossroads announces that ... secure online PatientCrossroads platform, has exceeded both its one-year and overall recruitment goals ... study, which seeks to advance understanding of the hereditary risks for certain kinds ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... With a presidential election in ... Care Business Conference will bring together over 500 top healthcare leaders for a night ... transformation. The conference, organized by MBA students of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016 ... the addition of the "Emotion Detection ... Machine Learning, and Others), Software Tools (Facial ... Areas, End Users,and Regions - Global forecast ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/d8zjcd/emotion_detection ) has ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Va. , Feb. 2, 2016   ... award from the U.S. Army Research Office and ... the range and sensitivity of the company,s ... Past Accounting Mission and, more generally, defense-related DNA ... DNA phenotyping capabilities (predicting appearance and ancestry from ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... 2016 Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer ... quarter ended December 31, 2015. --> ... 2016 increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year ... 2016 was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):