A tunable carbon nanotube electromechanical oscillator

Sazonova V., Yaish Y., Ustunel H., Roundy D., Arias T., McEuen P.

NATURE, vol.431, no.7006, pp.284-287, 2004 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 431 Issue: 7006
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/nature02905
  • Journal Name: NATURE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.284-287


Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) hold promise for a number of scientific and technological applications. In particular, NEMS oscillators have been proposed for use in ultrasensitive mass detection(1,2), radio-frequency signal processing(3,4), and as a model system for exploring quantum phenomena in macroscopic systems(5,6). Perhaps the ultimate material for these applications is a carbon nanotube. They are the stiffest material known, have low density, ultrasmall cross-sections and can be defect-free. Equally important, a nanotube can act as a transistor(7) and thus may be able to sense its own motion. In spite of this great promise, a room-temperature, self-detecting nanotube oscillator has not been realized, although some progress has been made(8-12). Here we report the electrical actuation and detection of the guitar-string-like oscillation modes of doubly clamped nanotube oscillators. We show that the resonance frequency can be widely tuned and that the devices can be used to transduce very small forces.