Fluctuation broadening in carbon nanotube resonators

Arthur W. Barnard, Vera Sazonova, Arend M. Van Der Zande, Paul L. McEuen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We simulated the behavior of suspended carbon nanotube resonators over a broad range of temperatures to explore the physics of semiflexible polymers in underdamped environments. We find that thermal fluctuations induce strong coupling between resonance modes. This effect leads to spectral fluctuations that readily account for the experimentally observed quality factors Q ∼ 100 at 300 K. Using a mean-field approach to describe fluctuations, we analytically calculate Q and frequency shifts in tensioned and buckled carbon nanotubes and find excellent agreement with simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19093-19096
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 20 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Mesoscopic physics
  • Nanomechanics
  • Nonlinear vibrations
  • Stochastic dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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