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Nanoelectromechanical Membranes for Multimode Mass Spectrometry


Li, Jarvis (2014) Nanoelectromechanical Membranes for Multimode Mass Spectrometry. Senior thesis (Major), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/R6T2-MP04.


Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) represent the next wave in miniaturizing various electrical and mechanical devices used in a variety of fields, such as physics, biology, and engineering. In particular, NEMS devices have high surface area to volume ratios, low power consumption, low mass, and extremely small footprints. These properties allow NEMS to explore more fundamental regimes of matter. Current NEMS mass spectrometry advancements have only utilized doubly-clamped beams and cantilevers. However to expand the measurement capabilities of NEMS mass spectrometry, we utilize a circular membrane geometry in order to build upon the existing measurements in 1 spatial dimension to measure mass spatially in 2-dimensions. Furthermore, membranes should provide a larger potential mass dynamic range. For this experiment, we utilize circular piezoelectric membranes of aluminum nitride and molybdenum stacks. For mass deposition, we utilize a technique known as matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI), which focuses a pulsed UV laser onto the desired sample embedded in a corresponding matrix. The energy causes a plume of particles to desorb off the sample and towards the device. As a particle lands on the device, we are able to deduce its mass from the shift in its resonant frequency. In particular we need to measure the first three resonant frequencies, since the frequency shifts also depend on the location the particle landed on the device. Here we show the viability of our detection setup, mass deposition setup, and our mass deposition results.

Item Type:Thesis (Senior thesis (Major))
Subject Keywords:nanoelectromechanical systems, NEMS, mass spectrometry, aluminum nitride, membranes, phase-locked loops, resonators, nanotechnology
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Awards:Library Friends Senior Thesis Prize Finalist, 2014. D.S. Kothari Prize in Physics, 2014.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Roukes, Michael Lee (advisor)
  • Hung, Peter S. (co-advisor)
Group:Senior Undergraduate Thesis Prize
Thesis Committee:
  • Stone, Edward C. (chair)
  • Libbrecht, Kenneth George
  • Filippone, Bradley W.
  • Frautschi, Steven C.
  • Tombrello, Thomas A.
  • Politzer, Hugh David
  • Adhikari, Rana
Defense Date:23 May 2014
Non-Caltech Author Email:jarvis.li360 (AT)
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05272014-152108855
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8400
Deposited By: Jarvis Li
Deposited On:05 Jun 2014 20:43
Last Modified:02 Aug 2022 21:45

Thesis Files

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