We introduce the use of ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) to actuate mechanical resonances in as grown arrays of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) loaded with Ni particles (Ni-CNTs). This contactless method is closely related to the magnetic resonance force microscopy technique and provides spatial selectivity of actuation along the array. The Ni-CNT arrays are grown by chemical vapor deposition
and are composed of homogeneous CNTs with uniform length (∼600 nm) and almost equal diameter (∼20 nm), which are loaded with Ni catalyst particles at their tips due to the tip growth mode. The vibrations of the Ni-CNTs are actuated by relying on the driving force that appears due to the FMR excited at about 2 GHz in the Ni particles (diameter ∼100 nm). The Ni-CNT oscillations (frequency ∼40 MHz) are detected mechanically by atomic force microscopy.
The acquired oscillation images of the Ni-CNT uniform array reveal clear maxima in the spatial distribution of the oscillation amplitudes. We attribute these maxima to the “sensitive slices”, i.e., the spatial regions of the Ni-CNT array where the FMR condition is met. Similar to magnetic resonance imaging, the sensitive slice is determined by the magnetic field gradient and moves along the Ni-CNT array as the applied magnetic field is ramped. Our excitation method does not require the presence of any additional microfabricated electrodes or coils near the CNTs and is particularly advantageous in cases where the traditional electrical actuation methods are not effective or cannot be implemented. The remote actuation can be effectively implemented also for arrays of other magnetic nanomechanical resonators.