Frequency and time references play an essential role in modern technology and in living systems. The precision of self-sustained oscillations is limited by the effects of noise, which becomes evermore important as the sizes of the devices become smaller. In this paper, we review our recent theoretical results on using nonlinear dynamics and pattern formation to reduce the effects of noise and improve the frequency precision of oscillators, with particular reference to ongoing experiments on oscillators based on nanomechanical resonators. We discuss using resonator nonlinearity, novel oscillator architectures and the synchronization of arrays of oscillators, to improve the frequency precision.
Volume 96, 2022
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