Nonlinear Mechanics and Nonlinear Material Properties in Micromechanical Resonators

Speaker: Joseph Boales

When: February 28, 2018 (Wed), 11:00AM to 12:00PM (add to my calendar)
Location: SCI 352

This event is part of the Departmental Seminars.

Microelectromechanical Systems are ubiquitous in modern technology, with applications ranging from accelerometers in smartphones to ultra-high precision motion stages used for atomically-precise positioning. As the sizes of such devices decrease, their mechanical, electrical, and material properties can no longer be treated as linear. Despite (and because of) these added complications, nonlinear effects open up an entirely new world of behaviors that can be measured or taken advantage of to create even more advanced technologies. Using aluminum-nitride-based resonators, I demonstrate the incredible sensitivity of these devices in their linear regimes by actuating a mechanical resonant mode using only the force generated by the radiation pressure. Next, I will describe information transfer by taking advantage of the nonlinear frequency-mixing behavior of the resonators using both acoustic pressure waves and radiation pressure. For my final experiments, I will describe new methods to probe the nonlinear nature of the piezoelectric material rather than take advantage of the nonlinear resonator behavior and to determine the nonlinear piezoelectric coefficients.