We describe the displacement detection of freestanding silicon [111] nanowires by fiber-optic interferometry. We observe approximately a 50-fold enhancement in the scattered intensity for nanowires 4060nm in diameter for incident light polarized parallel to the nanowire axis, as compared to perpendicular polarization. This enhancement enables us to achieve a displacement sensitivity of 0.5pmHz for 15μW of light incident on the nanowire. The nanowires exhibit ultralow mechanical dissipation in the range of (2×1015)(2×1014)kgs and could be used as mechanical sensors for ultrasensitive scanning probe force measurements.

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