Carbon nanofiber high frequency nanomechanical resonators†
Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) synthesized using a plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process are investigated as a new class of building blocks for high-frequency vibrating nanomechanical resonators. The CNF resonators are prototyped by using vertically oriented few-μm-long cantilever-structured CNFs grown by PECVD. Undriven thermomechanical motions and photothermally driven resonances are measured in the frequency range of ∼3–10 MHz, which exhibit quality (Q) factors of ∼140–350 in moderate vacuum (milliTorr) at room temperature. Further, characteristics of CNF resonators after platinum deposition and intensive electron beam exposure are investigated, and resonance frequency shifts due to mass loading on the CNFs are clearly observed. In addition, extensive material characterization of the CNFs using techniques such as X-ray electron dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) with spatial element-mapping reveals the structure and growth mechanism of the CNFs.