This scanning electron micrograph depicts a silicon crystal nanomachined into an antenna oscillator that can vibrate about 1.5 billion times per second.
The antenna-type oscillator is a nanomachined single-crystal structure of silicon. Using this design, movements 1000 times smaller than nanometer scale are amplified into motion of the entire micron-sized structure. Operating at gigahertz speeds, the technology could help further miniaturize wireless communication devices like cell phones. This macroscopic nanomechanical oscillator consists of roughly 50 billion silicon atoms.
• SIZE: The central silicon beam is 10.7 µm long and 400 nm wide; the "paddles" along the sides are 500 nm long and 200 nm wide.
• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope
- Nanometer-sized things are very small, and often behave differently than larger things do.
- Nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanoengineering lead to new knowledge and innovations that weren't possible before.
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