Applied Physics Letters

Disentangling mechanical and mass effects on nanomechanical resonators

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Micro and nanomechanical resonators are powerful and label-free sensors of analytes in various environments. Their response, however, is a convolution of mass, rigidity, and nanoscale heterogeneity of adsorbates. Here we demonstrate a procedure to disentangle this complex sensor response, to simultaneously measure both mass and elastic properties of nanometer thick samples. This turns an apparent disadvantage of these resonators into a striking and unique asset, enabling them to measure more than mass alone. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.