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Self-Assembled Nano-Drums

Using the expertise in nanoparticle synthesis and assembly built up in IRG 3, a MRSEC team comprised of members of the Jaeger and Talapin groups collaborated with Xiao-Min Lin and Jeffrey Guest at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials and John Sader from the University of Melbourne to develop the first completely self-assembled nano-mechanical resonator. It forms when a  nanoparticle monolayer drapes itself over a hole several microns in diameter to produce a 10nm thin, freestanding membrane that vibrates in the MHz range (transmission electron microscope images shown in left inset).  Vibration spectra (left) and images of the vibration patterns (out-of-phase regions indicated by different color) are obtained with an interferometric laser microscope that scans across the membrane and can detect vibration amplitudes as small as a few pico-meters.