This scanning electron micrograph depicts a silicon crystal nanomachined into an antenna oscillator that can vibrate about 1.5 billion times per second.
The antenna-type oscillator is a nanomachined single-crystal structure of silicon. Using this design, movements 1000 times smaller than nanometer scale are amplified into motion of the entire micron-sized structure. Operating at gigahertz speeds, the technology could help further miniaturize wireless communication devices like cell phones. This macroscopic nanomechanical oscillator consists of roughly 50 billion silicon atoms.