Operation at high temperatures and broad tunability could bring microelectromechanical resonators to space and beyond
A range of sensing and communications technologies, such as satellites, already rely on tiny devices called resonators—also known as vibrating microelectromechanical and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS). But engineers have faced limits in the temperatures these tiny components can withstand and the range of frequencies that they can pick up. Now scientists at Case Western Reserve University have constructed resonators out of a single layer of graphene that can withstand high temperatures and operate across a broad range of frequencies (Nano Lett. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b04685).
Today MEMS/NEMS resonators are usually made out of silicon, but a few years back researchers started to make them out of graphene because of the material’s superior physical properties. Chief among these are its high conductivity, mechanical flexibility, and light weight. These atomically thin, two-dimensional resonators operate like the skin of a drum, vibrating at certain frequencies. When employed as sensors, these frequencies shift when struck by stimuli, such as molecules or photons. By analyzing those frequency shifts, it becomes possible to know the quantity and nature of the stimuli.
The full article is available below.
Source: Chemical & Engineering News