Thursday, May 24, 2012

US Patent 8183945 - Nanowire oscillator

In order to miniaturize some applications such as such as gas-phase chemical sensors, molecular force sensors and mass spectrometers to the nanoscale it is necessary to build nanoscale oscillators. This patent from Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique teaches one such oscillator built from nanowire structures. Claim 1 reads:

1. An oscillator comprising:

a first set of a multiple of four sub-assemblies connected in series in a closed loop, each sub-assembly comprising:

one nanowire constituting an electromechanical resonator with a first terminal connected to a first supply voltage and a second terminal constituting an output terminal of the sub-assembly, and

excitation means of the resonator with an input terminal constituting an excitation terminal of the sub-assembly,

wherein, the output terminal of each sub-assembly is grounded by means of a corresponding resistive circuit and is connected to the excitation terminal of the following sub-assembly; and

an output terminal formed by an output terminal of one of the sub-assemblies.