Because a high Q factor indicates a capacity for stable vibrations, the nanowires might be used as oscillators in nano-electromechanical systems for future nano-sensors and communications devices.
“We think the most interesting thing about these wires is the very high quality factor observed for such a small object,” says NIST researcher and co-author Kris Bertness, who grew the nanowires.
NIST has developed a unique way of growing hexagonal gallium nitride (GaN) nanowires featuring low defect density and high luminescence intensity. In a new paper*, researchers at NIST and the University of Colorado at Boulder report high Q factors in wires that are 30 to 500 nanometers in diameter and 5 to 20 micrometers long, vibrating between 400,000 and 2.8 million times per second. (For comparison, the quartz crystals used in watches usually vibrate about 32,000 times a second.) The nanowires vibrated when placed on a piezoelectric device stimulated by an electrical signal. The nanowires also oscillated when excited directly by an electron beam, apparently due to the GaN material’s intrinsic piezoelectric ability to covert voltage to mechanical force.
Q measures the damping of oscillations in a mechanical system as a function of frequency—the higher its Q, the longer a bell rings after being struck. Ordinarily, Q factors of mechanical resonators tend to drop as their diameters shrink. But GaN nanowires have a number of properties that may boost their Q and make them suitable as practical oscillators. They have extremely flat and smooth surfaces (irregularities have reduced performance in other oscillators.) GaN also has a resonant frequency similar to silicon (commonly used in microelectronics) but is less susceptible to some sources of “noise.” Finally, GaN has high heat capacity and thermal conductivity, reducing sensitivity to temperature fluctuations. Another practical advantage is that NIST’s GaN nanowires are grown on silicon, making them compatible with existing microelectronics processing methods.
To measure the resonance properties of the nanowires, researchers observed clumps of nanowires using a scanning electron microscope. As the frequency of the applied signal was varied across a range, the nanowires seen in micrographs appear to blur or fan out at or near the resonance frequency. For the nanowire shown in the image, the Q value (about 38,000) is at least 10 times higher than previously reported values for other GaN nanowires, carbon nanotubes, and single-crystal silicon microstructures of similar surface-to-volume ratio. The researchers have measured Q values of more than 1 million in resonating GaN nanowires using feedback (like continuous striking of a bell to keep it ringing), as would occur in a real device.
Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
New method gives microscope a boost in resolution
10.12.2018 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg
A new 'spin' on kagome lattices
10.12.2018 | Boston College
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals
Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.
Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.
Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...
Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.
The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
03.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Life Sciences
10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
10.12.2018 | Life Sciences