Department Seminar by Prof. Kamil L. Ekinci

Fluid Dynamics of Nanomechanical Resonators: High Frequencies, Confinement and Beyond

Prof. Kamil L. Ekinci, Boston University

Thursday, June 5, 2014
Time: 11:00
Place: EA 409

With their miniscule sizes, high frequencies, and small force constants, nanomechanical resonators are emerging as tools for sensing a variety of analytes, probing biological entities, and measuring molecular-scale forces. Because many of the foreseeable applications of nanomechanical resonators are in fluids, it is natural to consider their operation in fluids. In this talk, I will focus on the fluid dynamics of nanomechanical resonators. I will discuss two canonical problems involving fluid-structure interactions but at the characteristic length and time scales of nanomechanical resonators. The first one is Stokes’ second problem, where an oscillating mechanical resonator excites an otherwise unperturbed fluid. I will describe how Stokes’ problem can be reformulated in this parameter space, unifying previous theories and leading to a universality in oscillating flows. The second problem is the excitation of an otherwise unperturbed mechanical resonator by a flow past it. I will discuss how the mechanical response can be used as a sensitive probe of the instabilities in the flow.

Short bio:

Kamil L. Ekinci is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University. He obtained his PhD in physics from Brown University in 1999, and performed postdoctoral work at Caltech between 1999 and 2002. He was the recipient of a NSF CAREER award and was a visiting fellow at NIST in 2009. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Review of Scientific Instruments.

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