Displacement detection of silicon nanowires by polarization-enhanced fiber-optic interferometry

John M. Nichol, Raffi Budakian, Eric R. Hemesath, Lincoln J. Lauhon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe the displacement detection of freestanding silicon [111] nanowires by fiber-optic interferometry. We observe approximately a 50-fold enhancement in the scattered intensity for nanowires 40-60 nm in diameter for incident light polarized parallel to the nanowire axis, as compared to perpendicular polarization. This enhancement enables us to achieve a displacement sensitivity of 0.5 pmHz for 15 μW of light incident on the nanowire. The nanowires exhibit ultralow mechanical dissipation in the range of (2× 10-15) - (2× 10-14) kgs and could be used as mechanical sensors for ultrasensitive scanning probe force measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number193110
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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