In Situ Tuning of Focused-Ion-Beam Defined Nanomechanical Resonators Using Joule Heating

Lasse Vinther Homann, Tim Booth, Anders Lei, Dirch Hjorth Petersen, Zachary James Davis, Peter Bøggild

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Nanomechanical resonators have a huge potential for a variety of applications, including high-resolution mass sensing. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel rapid prototyping method for fabricating nanoelectromechanical systems using focused-ion-beam milling as well as in situ electromechanical characterization using a transmission electron microscope. Nanomechanical resonators were cut out of thin membrane chips, which have been prefabricated using standard cleanroom processing. We have demonstrated the fabrication of double-clamped beams with feature sizes down to 200 nm using a fabrication time of 30 min per device. Afterwards, the dynamic and structural properties of a double-clamped beam were measured after subsequent Joule heating events in order to ascertain the dependence of the internal structure on the Q-factor and resonant frequency of the device. It was observed that a change from amorphous to polycrystalline silicon structure significantly increased the resonant frequency as well as the Q-factor of the nanomechanical resonator. Aside from allowing detailed studies of the correlation between internal structure and nanomechanical behavior on an individual rather than a statistical basis, the combination of a short turnaround time and in situ nonlithographic tuning of the properties provide a flexible approach to the development and prototyping of nanomechanical devices.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalI E E E Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)1074-1080
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Milling
    • Annealing
    • Silicon
    • Resistance
    • Q factor
    • Heating
    • Resonant frequency


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