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Symmetry breaking in a mechanical resonator made from a carbon nanotube

AuthorsEichler, Alexander ; Moser, Joel ; Dykman, M. I.; Bachtold, Adrian
Issue Date2013
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationNature Communications 4: 2843 (2013)
AbstractNanotubes behave as semi-flexible polymers in that they can bend by a sizeable amount. When integrating a nanotube in a mechanical resonator, the bending is expected to break the symmetry of the restoring potential. Here we report on a new detection method that allows us to demonstrate such symmetry breaking. The method probes the motion of the nanotube resonator at nearly zero-frequency; this motion is the low-frequency counterpart of the second overtone of resonantly excited vibrations. We find that symmetry breaking leads to the spectral broadening of mechanical resonances, and to an apparent quality factor that drops below 100 at room temperature. The low quality factor at room temperature is a striking feature of nanotube resonators whose origin has remained elusive for many years. Our results shed light on the role played by symmetry breaking in the mechanics of nanotube resonators.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/ncomms3843
e-issn: 2041-1723
Appears in Collections:(CIN2) Artículos
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