Nanoelectromechanical systems are evolving, with new scientific studies and technical applications emerging. Mechanical devices are shrinking in thickness and width to reduce mass, increase resonant frequency, and lower the force constants of these systems. Advances in the field include improvements in fabrication processes and new methods for actuating and detecting motion at the nanoscale. Lithographic approaches are capable of creating freestanding objects in silicon and other materials, with thickness and lateral dimensions down to about 20 nanometers. Similar processes can make channels or pores of comparable dimensions, approaching the molecular scale. This allows access to a new experimental regime and suggests new applications in sensing and molecular interactions.
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