Mechanical vibrations are a problem in nanotechnology because they disturb the properties of materials.
A study with the participation of researchers from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Spain has designed a geometry that, applied to the manufacture of nanomaterials, dampens the mechanical vibrations that negatively affect nanometric-sized structures. This finding represents a simple, economical and energy-efficient solution to the problem of vibrations and could have numerous applications in the field of nanotechnology, as well as in quantum computing and in the field of biosensors, among other examples.
“Very small solid objects, at the nanoscale, are very sensitive to vibrations generated by thermal energy, and this is a problem in the field of technology. Currently, a lot of energy and money is spent to solve it because very low temperature cooling techniques are used. We have managed to do it much more simply: by manufacturing the materials with a clover-shaped geometric structure, we can eliminate these vibrations in a specific frequency range”, explains CSIC researcher David García, from the Materials Science Institute of Madrid ( ICMM).
The work proposes molding the material with a very simple geometric pattern similar to a clover, with which they have managed to eliminate mechanical vibrations in a wide range of energies. “The function of this molding of the material is to create a destructive interference that cancels out these vibrations without the need to cool the material. Our design is an excellent platform for the creation of phonon waveguides since the control of vibrations allows us to guide them in a specific way and at will”, adds García.
Geometry proposed in the study (pattern in the form of a cloverleaf). (Image: CSIC)
To characterize the effect of this geometry, a non-invasive and non-destructive measurement technique has been used. Furthermore, the geometric pattern can be adapted to cope with vibrations at different energies, making it larger or smaller. “The geometry is the same, but it is tuned to fit each application”, concludes the ICMM-CSIC researcher, who carried out part of the research at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2).
The study is titled “Engineering nanoscale hypersonic phonon transport.” And it has been published in the academic journal Nature Nanotechnology. (Source: Marta García Gonzalo / CSIC)