Characterization of silver-gallium nanowires for force and mass sensing applications

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Nanotechnology 21,30 (2010)


We investigate the mechanical properties of cantilevered silver-gallium (Ag2Ga) nanowires using laser Doppler vibrometry. From measurements of the resonant frequencies and associated operating deflection shapes, we demonstrate that these Ag2Ga nanowires behave as ideal Euler-Bernoulli beams. Furthermore, radial asymmetries in these nanowires are detected through high resolution measurements of the vibration spectra. These crystalline nanowires possess many ideal characteristics for nanoscale force and mass sensing, including small spring constants (as low as 10(-4) N m(-1)), high frequency bandwidth with resonance frequencies in the 0.02-10 MHz range, small suspended mass (picograms), and relatively high Q-factors (similar to 2-50) under ambient conditions. We evaluate the utility of Ag2Ga nanowires for nanocantilever applications, including ultrasmall mass and high frequency bandwidth piconewton force detection.

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