Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNT) have recently been shown to be the most sensitive nanomechanical transducers, allowing the detection of forces at the 10 zeptoNewton level [1] and single-proton resolution mass spectroscopy [2]. However, these performances remain confined to cryogenic temperatures, where their exquisite nanomechanical properties are typically 4 to 5 orders of magnitude better than in ambient conditions [3]. The detection of nanometer-scale object using optical means represents an experimental challenge because of overlap with the laser beam being limited by the diffraction limit. Here we present i) our first experimental results towards the exploration of nano-optomechanical detection in the limit of a weak optical coupling and ii) to our knowledge the first experimental observation of time-resolved thermal motion of a single-clamped carbon nanotube using a tightly focused electron beam inside a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).

© 2015 IEEE

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