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Optically transduced MEMS/NEMS resonators: A video interview with Harold Craighead

Optical approaches provide robust and relatively non-invasive methods for excitation and detection of the motion of micro- and nanomechanical structures.
25 February 2008, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3200802.0003

Harold Craighead is director of the Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC) at Cornell University. He has been a pioneer in nanofabrication methods and the application of engineered nanosystems for research and device applications. His research involves the study and development of new methods for nanostructure formation, integrated fluidic/optical devices, nanoelectromechanical systems and single-molecule analysis.

Research at the NBTC has shown that modulated laser beams can excite and detect resonant motion of remarkably narrow or thin beans, fibers, and membranes. The approach can also be used to scan individual elements of arrays of structures. This can also be used for accessing encapsulated mechanical objects and devices in fluid, a feature of utility for sensor applications.

Craighead presented a plenary talk at SPIE Photonics West in which he spoke about developments in nanoelectromechanical (NEMS) and their use as sensors in biological applications.