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Electrons moving in a conductor can transfer momentum to the lattice via collisions with impurities and boundaries, giving rise to a fluctuating mechanical stress tensor. Driving electrons out of equilibrium by applying the voltage across the conductor, one may control this electromechanical noise. The root-mean-squared momentum transfer per scattering event in a disordered metal of dimension greater than the mean free path and screening length is found to be reduced below the Fermi momentum. The excitation of an elastic bending mode by the electromechanical noise is estimated to fall within current experimental sensitivity for a nanomechanical oscillator.
PHYS 242, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN