Infoscience

Journal article

Asymmetrically coupled resonators for mass sensing

Mechanically coupled resonators have been applied in the last years to the development of nanomechanical mass-sensors based on the detection of the different vibration modes of the system by measuring on a single resonator. Their sensitivity and capability for detecting multiple analytes strongly depends on the design and coupling strength between the mechanically coupled resonators in an array format. We present a theoretical and experimental study of the behavior of an asymmetrically coupled array of four different resonators. These doubly clamped beam resonators are elastically coupled by an overhang region of varying length along the transversal axis of the array. The results show that parameters such as the gap between microbeams and the overhang length affect the coupling strength, tuning the system from highly disordered and highly localized (weak coupling) to highly delocalized (strong coupling). In the strong coupling and partially localized case, the distances between resonant peaks are larger, reaching higher eigenfrequency values. In this case, relative changes in a specific eigenstate, due to an added mass, can be markedly large due to the energy distribution over a single microbeam. A strong coupling also facilitates performing the detection on the relative frequency shift mode, which can usually be resolved with better precision than the amplitude changes.

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