High-frequency stochastic switching of graphene resonators near room temperature

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Stochastic switching between the two bistable states of a strongly driven mechanical resonator enables detection of weak signals based on probability distributions, in a manner that mimics biological systems. However, conventional silicon resonators at the microscale require a large amount of fluctuation power to achieve a switching rate in the order of a few hertz. Here, we employ graphene membrane resonators of atomic thickness to achieve a stochastic switching rate of 4.1 kHz, which is 100 times faster than current state-of-the-art. The (effective) temperature of the fluctuations is approximately 400 K, which is 3000 times lower than the state-of-the-art. This shows that these membranes are potentially useful to transduce weak signals in the audible frequency domain. Furthermore, we perform numerical simulations to understand the transition dynamics of the resonator and use analytical expressions to investigate the relevant scaling parameters that allow high-frequency, low-temperature stochastic switching to be achieved in mechanical resonators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1282-1288
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • 2D materials
  • graphene
  • NEMS
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • Stochastic switching


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