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Nonlinearity Induced Synchronization Enhancement in Mechanical Oscillators (IN-15-079)

Argonne licensing opportunity

An autonomous oscillator synchronizes to an external harmonic force only when the forcing frequency lies within a certain interval, known as the synchronization range, around the oscillator’s natural frequency. Under ordinary conditions, the width of the synchronization range decreases when the oscillation amplitude grows, which constrains synchronized motion of micro- and nano-mechanical resonators to narrow frequency and amplitude bounds.

The present invention shows that nonlinearity in the oscillator can be exploited to manifest a régime where the synchronization range increases with an increasing oscillation amplitude. It also shows that nonlinearities in specific configurations of oscillator systems, as described herein, are the key determinants of the effect. This invention presents a new configuration and operation régime that enhances the synchronization of micro- and nano-mechanical oscillators by capitalizing on their intrinsic nonlinear dynamics.