This work investigates the impact of asymmetric cross-sectional geometry on the near-resonant response of electrostatically-actuated silicon nanowires. The work demonstrates that dimensional variances of less than 2% qualitatively alter the near-resonant response of these nanosystems, rendering a non-Lorentzian frequency response structure. Theoretical and experimental results demonstrate that this effect is independent of material properties and device boundary conditions and can be easily modeled using a two-degree-of-freedom system. Proper understanding of this phenomenon is believed to be essential in the characterization of the dynamic response of resonant nanotube and nanowire systems and thus the predictive design and development of such devices. Practical applications of the devices of interest include electrostatic force gradients and mass sensing, both of which can advantageously leverage the unique frequency response structure attendant to these systems.

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