Direct observation of coherent energy transfer in nonlinear micromechanical oscillators

Changyao Chen, Damián H. Zanette, David A. Czaplewski, Steven Shaw, Daniel López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Energy dissipation is an unavoidable phenomenon of physical systems that are directly coupled to an external environmental bath. In an oscillatory system, it leads to the decay of the oscillation amplitude. In situations where stable oscillations are required, the energy dissipated by the vibrations is usually compensated by replenishment from external energy sources. Consequently, if the external energy supply is removed, the amplitude of oscillations start to decay immediately, since there is no means to restitute the energy dissipated. Here, we demonstrate a novel dissipation engineering strategy that can support stable oscillations without supplying external energy to compensate losses. The fundamental intrinsic mechanism of resonant mode coupling is used to redistribute and store mechanical energy among vibrational modes and coherently transfer it back to the principal mode when the external excitation is off. To experimentally demonstrate this phenomenon, we exploit the nonlinear dynamic response of microelectromechanical oscillators to couple two different vibrational modes through an internal resonance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15523
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - May 26 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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