Tracking the resonant frequency of a micromechanical resonator using phononic frequency combs.
Micro and nanomechanical resonators have been extensively researched in recent decades for applications to time and frequency references, as well as highly sensitive sensors. Conventionally, the operation of these resonant sensors is practically implemented using a feedback oscillator to dynamically track variations in the resonant frequency. However, this approach places limitations on the frequency stability of the output response, particularly owing to near-carrier phase noise, potentially limiting measurements over long integration times. Here, in this paper, utilizing the recent experimental demonstration of phononic frequency combs, we demonstrate an alternative resonant tracking approach with the potential to provide significant improvements in near-carrier phase noise and long-term stability. In addition, we also showcase comb dynamics mediated resonant frequency modulation which indirectly points to the possible control of inevitable noise processes including thermomechanical fluctuations. This resonant tracking approach may also have general applicability to a number of other physical oscillators.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1710.07058