Abstract

Mass sensing connects mass variation to a frequency shift of a mechanical oscillator, whose limitation is determined by its mechanical frequency resolution. Here we propose a method to enlarge a minute mechanical frequency shift, which is smaller than the linewidth of the mechanical oscillator, into a huge frequency shift of the normal mode. Explicitly, a frequency shift of about 20 Hz of the mechanical oscillator would be magnified to be a 1 MHz frequency shift in the normal mode, which increases it by 5 orders of magnitude. This enhancement relies on the sensitivity appearing near the quantum critical point of the electromechanical system. We show that a mechanical frequency shift of 1 Hz could be resolved with a mechanical resonance frequency ωb=11×2πMHz. Namely, an ultrasensitive mechanical mass sensor of the resolution Δm/m2Δωb/ωb108 could be achieved. Our method has potential application in mass sensing and other techniques based on the frequency shift of a mechanical oscillator.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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