Noise-enabled precision measurements of a duffing nanomechanical resonator

Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Apr 22;94(15):156403. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.94.156403. Epub 2005 Apr 19.


We report quantitative measurements of the nonlinear response of a radio frequency mechanical resonator with a very high quality factor. We measure the noise-free transitions between the two basins of attraction that appear in the nonlinear regime, and find good agreement with theory. We measure the transition rate response to controlled levels of white noise, and extract the basin activation energy. This allows us to obtain precise values for the relevant frequencies and the cubic nonlinearity in the Duffing oscillator, with applications to parametric sensing.