Low-Power Photothermal Self-Oscillation of Bimetallic Nanowires

Roberto De Alba, T. S. Abhilash, Richard H. Rand, Harold G. Craighead, Jeevak M. Parpia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigate the nonlinear mechanics of a bimetallic, optically absorbing SiN-Nb nanowire in the presence of incident laser light and a reflecting Si mirror. Situated in a standing wave of optical intensity and subject to photothermal forces, the nanowire undergoes self-induced oscillations at low incident light thresholds of <1 μW due to engineered strong temperature-position (T-z) coupling. Along with inducing self-oscillation, laser light causes large changes to the mechanical resonant frequency ω0 and equilibrium position z0 that cannot be neglected. We present experimental results and a theoretical model for the motion under laser illumination. In the model, we solve the governing nonlinear differential equations by perturbative means to show that self-oscillation amplitude is set by the competing effects of direct T-z coupling and 2ω0 parametric excitation due to T-ω0 coupling. We then study the linearized equations of motion to show that the optimal thermal time constant τ for photothermal feedback is τ → ∞ rather than the previously reported ω0 τ = 1. Lastly, we demonstrate photothermal quality factor (Q) enhancement of driven motion as a means to counteract air damping. Understanding photothermal effects on nano- and micromechanical devices, as well as nonlinear aspects of optics-based motion detection, can enable new device applications as oscillators or other electronic elements with smaller device footprints and less stringent ambient vacuum requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3995-4002
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

self oscillation
Nanowires
nanowires
Lasers
lasers
footprints
standing waves
time constant
Equations of motion
resonant frequencies
Q factors
Natural frequencies
Optics
Mechanics
equations of motion
Mirrors
Differential equations
differential equations
Damping
Lighting

Keywords

  • Nanomechanical systems
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • optomechanics
  • parametric feedback
  • photothermal force
  • self-oscillation

Cite this

De Alba, Roberto ; Abhilash, T. S. ; Rand, Richard H. ; Craighead, Harold G. ; Parpia, Jeevak M. / Low-Power Photothermal Self-Oscillation of Bimetallic Nanowires. In: Nano Letters. 2017 ; Vol. 17, No. 7. pp. 3995-4002.
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De Alba, R, Abhilash, TS, Rand, RH, Craighead, HG & Parpia, JM 2017, 'Low-Power Photothermal Self-Oscillation of Bimetallic Nanowires', Nano Letters, vol. 17, no. 7, pp. 3995-4002. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b04769

Low-Power Photothermal Self-Oscillation of Bimetallic Nanowires. / De Alba, Roberto; Abhilash, T. S.; Rand, Richard H.; Craighead, Harold G.; Parpia, Jeevak M.

In: Nano Letters, Vol. 17, No. 7, 12.07.2017, p. 3995-4002.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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T1 - Low-Power Photothermal Self-Oscillation of Bimetallic Nanowires

AU - De Alba, Roberto

AU - Abhilash, T. S.

AU - Rand, Richard H.

AU - Craighead, Harold G.

AU - Parpia, Jeevak M.

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N2 - We investigate the nonlinear mechanics of a bimetallic, optically absorbing SiN-Nb nanowire in the presence of incident laser light and a reflecting Si mirror. Situated in a standing wave of optical intensity and subject to photothermal forces, the nanowire undergoes self-induced oscillations at low incident light thresholds of <1 μW due to engineered strong temperature-position (T-z) coupling. Along with inducing self-oscillation, laser light causes large changes to the mechanical resonant frequency ω0 and equilibrium position z0 that cannot be neglected. We present experimental results and a theoretical model for the motion under laser illumination. In the model, we solve the governing nonlinear differential equations by perturbative means to show that self-oscillation amplitude is set by the competing effects of direct T-z coupling and 2ω0 parametric excitation due to T-ω0 coupling. We then study the linearized equations of motion to show that the optimal thermal time constant τ for photothermal feedback is τ → ∞ rather than the previously reported ω0 τ = 1. Lastly, we demonstrate photothermal quality factor (Q) enhancement of driven motion as a means to counteract air damping. Understanding photothermal effects on nano- and micromechanical devices, as well as nonlinear aspects of optics-based motion detection, can enable new device applications as oscillators or other electronic elements with smaller device footprints and less stringent ambient vacuum requirements.

AB - We investigate the nonlinear mechanics of a bimetallic, optically absorbing SiN-Nb nanowire in the presence of incident laser light and a reflecting Si mirror. Situated in a standing wave of optical intensity and subject to photothermal forces, the nanowire undergoes self-induced oscillations at low incident light thresholds of <1 μW due to engineered strong temperature-position (T-z) coupling. Along with inducing self-oscillation, laser light causes large changes to the mechanical resonant frequency ω0 and equilibrium position z0 that cannot be neglected. We present experimental results and a theoretical model for the motion under laser illumination. In the model, we solve the governing nonlinear differential equations by perturbative means to show that self-oscillation amplitude is set by the competing effects of direct T-z coupling and 2ω0 parametric excitation due to T-ω0 coupling. We then study the linearized equations of motion to show that the optimal thermal time constant τ for photothermal feedback is τ → ∞ rather than the previously reported ω0 τ = 1. Lastly, we demonstrate photothermal quality factor (Q) enhancement of driven motion as a means to counteract air damping. Understanding photothermal effects on nano- and micromechanical devices, as well as nonlinear aspects of optics-based motion detection, can enable new device applications as oscillators or other electronic elements with smaller device footprints and less stringent ambient vacuum requirements.

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