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Nanofluidics of MEMS and NEMS

 

Summary:

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) have a wide variety of potential applications as sensors in fluid environments. However there is an enormous roadblock to the development of such sensors. When a MEMS/NEMS resonator operates in a fluid, the resonator dissipates almost all its stored energy to viscous friction. In other words, the quality factor of the resonator goes down, making the available signal extremely small. Here, we are developing devices to circumvent this problem by using improved surfaces, which couple more weakly to the fluid, and novel measurement techniques to enhance the signal.

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nanofluidics-1
(Scanning electron micrograph of a family of nanomechanical resonators)

 

Contact

Kamil Ekinci, 301-975-8458

NIST
100 Bureau Drive, MS 6203
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-6203