Reviewing NEMS Resonators Based on Low-Dimensional Materials

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Low-dimensional materials (LDMs) have gained significant prominence in nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS) resonators because of their exotic physical, photonic, and electronic characteristics augmented by exceptionally high surface-to-volume ratios and quantum restrictions.

Reviewing NEMS Resonators Based on Low-Dimensional Materials

​​​​​​​Study: Emerging low-dimensional materials for nanoelectromechanical systems resonators. Image Credit: Angel Soler Gollonet/Shutterstock.com

A recent study published in the journal Materials Research Letters provides a detailed overview of the manufacturing, identification, actuation, figures of relevance, and moderating variables of NEMS resonators based on low-dimensional materials.

The research outlines the principles and advancements of these NEMS resonators, as well as promising applications such as optical sensors, nanoelectronics, and quantum detection systems.

Why Are Nanoelectromechanical System (NEMS) Resonators Important?

Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) have tremendous potential in biochemical detection, physiochemical monitoring, and electromagnetic radiation because of their remarkable effectiveness with minimal power consumption. Unlike traditional microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), NEMS incorporate electrical and mechanical functions at the nanometer scale.

The remarkable quantum influence and connectivity effects in NEMS instruments encourage an increasing amount of research from the physics, materials engineering, structural dynamics, and chemistry communities. The last few decades have seen the rise of adaptable NEMS resonators due to rapid breakthroughs in metallurgical processes and manufacturing technology.

Although NEMS resonators have satisfactory resonant frequencies and quality factors, the strict down-scaling requirements confine their incorporation as individual entities for next-generation smartphones, adaptable devices, and intelligent systems.

Low-Dimensional Materials for NEMS Resonators

Low dimensional materials (LDMs), such as one-dimensional (1D) nanomaterials and the two-dimensional (2D) family of nanocrystalline films, have transformed the engineering design of NEMS resonators due to their diverse structures and ability to operate under harsh environments.

To obtain a hanging beam or film structure for NEMS resonators, low-dimensional materials go through a sequence of nanofabrication processes. The material properties of as-fabricated NEMS resonators can be activated in terms of electronic and photonic signals when activated by external light, pressure, electromagnetic fields, and magnetic currents.

Several applications of NEMS resonators based on low-dimensional materials have been reported to date, including robotic detectors, biological actuators, nanoelectronics equipment, and quantum systems.

Although a few previous studies have outlined the advancement of NEMS resonators, they have only focused on 2D materials-based NEMS detection. As a result, a high-level review of NEMS resonators that focuses on the growth of the entire low-dimensional material system is extremely necessary.

Highlights of the Current Study

In this review, the researchers outlined the traditional fabrication procedures, working processes, physical parameters, and detection techniques of NEMS resonators and their principal control variables. The advancements in the manufacturing of NEMS resonators from various low-dimensional materials and their nanocomposites were also discussed.

In addition, the effects of crucial variables such as film thickness, operational conditions, and architecture on adjusting resonant frequencies, quality factors, and potential dissipation of resonators were analyzed.

The researchers concluded by highlighting the current obstacles and proposing some viewpoints that may aid in addressing these roadblocks and promoting the applicability of low-dimensional materials in future versatile and smart NEMS resonators.

Important Findings of the Review

NEMS resonators can optimize operating frequency and responsiveness while consuming minimal energy because of the remarkable physical and optical characteristics at the nanoscale level. As a result, NEMS resonators have emerged as viable candidates for a wide range of next-generation imaging, electronic, and structural applications.

The active substances are the central component of NEMS resonators. The basic requirement of good active material is that it can withstand specific mechanical displacements and have high economic viability for device integration.

Low-dimensional materials have emerged as an enticing replacement for traditional silicon in next-generation NEMS resonators. The advantages of low-dimensional materials for NEMS resonators include tunable band structure, decreased dielectric testing, high strain tolerance, and material reliability in the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) spectrum.

Future Outlook

Breakthroughs in NEMS resonators have reached an unprecedented level of economic success in the last couple of years, varying from underlying mechanisms to industrial applications, owing to the cooperative relationships of materials engineering, quantum mechanics, nanotechnology, and engineering.

The frequency response of NEMS resonators made of low-dimensional materials has attained the gigahertz (GHz) threshold and is expected to reach the terahertz (THz) level due to their incredibly small mass density.

However, the configuration of the working area, service conditions, system configurations, manufacturing processes, and operational standards are all highly dependent on these NEMS devices. As a result, vital performances vary from device to device, making commercialization extremely difficult.

In this regard, recognizing confronting obstacles and developing innovative, viable alternatives is critical to propelling this groundbreaking field forward.

Reference​​​​​​

Ban, S. et al. (2022). Emerging low-dimensional materials for nanoelectromechanical systems resonators. Materials Research Letters. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21663831.2022.2111233


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