Assistant Professor of Physics Viva Horowitz co-authored a paper that was recently published in the journal Micromachines. She and several researchers from the University of Oregon presented the results of their work in “Coupled Nanomechanical Graphene Resonators: A Promising Platform for Scalable NEMS Networks.”
The group says that “arrays of coupled nanoelectromechanical resonators are a promising foundation for implementing large-scale network applications, such as mechanical-based information processing and computing, but their practical realization remains an outstanding challenge.” In their work, they demonstrated a scalable platform of suspended graphene resonators, which they say can serve as “a viable option for realizing large-scale programmable networks, enabling applications such as phononic circuits, tunable waveguides, and reconfigurable metamaterials.”
As a nanoscientist, Horowitz worked on the fabrication and interpretation of what she describes as “tiny trampolines.” She says the system in which they are used is “a lot like a trampoline park, with a bunch of trampolines all next to each other, with an array of columns holding the whole thing.” The researchers used a pump laser as a “little jumper” jumping on the trampoline and making it resonate. They then explored the shape of that resonance using a less powerful probe laser.
Horowitz and her co-authors say this is a promising and scalable NEMS (or nanoelectromechanical system), noting that the design could be useful for engineering a mechanical system for use in mechanical-based information processing and computing.
Horowitz, who has worked with mechanical resonators for some time, adds that they “are also useful for developing metamaterials that transmit sound in specialized ways.”