"The aim of this project is the realization of a new class of electrical devices, in which mechanical deformation of a nano-object are used to tune its electronic transport properties. This is done through the use of radiation-pressure actuated optical forces on suspended one-dimensional electronic systems, such as semiconductor nanowires.
While research in opto-mechanical systems and electro-mechanical systems is advancing at a rapid pace, the joining of the two fields is still lacking and opto-electro-mechanical devices are scarcely investigated. In these devices spatial deformations control the electronic properties of nano-object; suspended nanowires, for example, can oscillate (guitar string modes) modifying their distance with a back-gate electrode, linking mechanical deformation to an effective gating field which, in properly designed system, can control the flow of single electrons (Coulomb blockade). This proposal considers the realization of on-chip systems in which this dynamic is controlled by the use of optical forces, to obtain a precise and reliable tool to address the nanometric displacement of the object.
Exploiting the capability of nanowires to sustain fiber-like optical modes, a coupling of photonic modes between an optical waveguide/microcavity is envisioned. Apart from its interest as a mini-invasive waveguide detector, this will open the route to the investigation of mechanical modes of nanowires coupled with optical waveguides/cavities or in LC resonant circuits, with the achievement of controlling the vibrational state of the object by shining light into the optical system. The final goal is the realization of optically controlled electro-mechanical transistors, both field-effect and single electrons, which could represent an absolutely new kind of device for sensing and a new exciting platform for fundamental physics invetigations."
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