Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering, PhD
Cohn, Robert W.
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Farag, Aly A.
Farag, Aly A.
Nanomechanics; thermal vibration; optical detection; bead-on-a-string(BOS) fibers; quadrant photo detectors (QPD); young's modulus
A direct detection optical vibrometer is constructed around an 850 nm laser and a quadrant photodetector (QPD). The limit of detection is 0.2 fW which corresponds to a minimum amplitude of 0.1 Å. The vibrometer is used to measure the thermal vibration spectra of low stiffness micromechanical structures have nanometer features. One structure measured is a cantilevered 30 μm diameter glass fiber. Vibration amplitudes as low as 1.1 Å are measured. The thermal vibration spectra show fundamental resonances at 80-250 Hz and a signal to noise ratio (SNR) of 23-55 dB. Young’s modulus of glass in the cantilevers, estimated from the spectra, agree to within 3 % of the manufacturer’s value, which is somewhat more accurate than force-elongation measurements made of 50-100 mm long fibers which differ by 5 %. Mass changes due to adhering small drops of liquids to the tip of the fiber cantilevers shifts the resonant frequency with a sensitivity of 120 ng. The mass detection limit would decrease by 2-3 orders by increasing the length of the time series data. The intended purpose of the vibrometer development is the measurement of the thermal vibration of polymer bead-on-string (BOS) fibers with enough sensitivity to detect time-varying changes in the spectra that relate to molecular-level and temperature dependent changes, such as evaporation, solidification, crystallization and strain-dependent chain reorganizations of the polymer material. Time dependent variations in the BOS spectra are observed in vibrometer measurements that, if attributable to material properties, would represent 2.5-5.2 % change in elastic modulus, 20-40 % loss in water mass due to evaporation, with the minimum detectable change in these properties being 0.06 % for the measured spectra. The vibrometer provides an important tool for the real-time study of changing properties of BOS fibers, as well as other low stiffness microstructures, especially those composed of polymers and other soft mater.
Chowdhury, Sri Sukanta, "Optical direct detection of thermal vibrations of ultralow stiffness micro-nano structures." (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3266.