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Enhancement of Mechanical Q Factors by Optical Trapping

Ni, K.-K. and Norte, R. and Wilson, D. J. and Hood, J. D. and Chang, D. E. and Painter, O. and Kimble, H. J. (2012) Enhancement of Mechanical Q Factors by Optical Trapping. Physical Review Letters, 108 (21). Art. No. 214302. ISSN 0031-9007. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.214302.

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The quality factor of a mechanical resonator is an important figure of merit for various sensing applications and for observing quantum behavior. Here, we demonstrate a technique to push the quality factor of a micromechanical resonator beyond conventional material and fabrication limits by using an optical field to stiffen or trap a particular motional mode. Optical forces increase the oscillation frequency by storing most of the mechanical energy in a nearly lossless optical potential, thereby strongly diluting the effect of material dissipation. By placing a 130 nm thick SiO_2 pendulum in an optical standing wave, we achieve an increase in the pendulum center-of-mass frequency from 6.2 to 145 kHz. The corresponding quality factor increases 50-fold from its intrinsic value to a final value of Q=5.8(1.1)×10^5, representing more than an order of magnitude improvement over the conventional limits of SiO_2 for this geometry. Our technique may enable new opportunities for mechanical sensing and facilitate observations of quantum behavior in this class of mechanical systems.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Painter, O.0000-0002-1581-9209
Additional Information:© 2012 American Physical Society. Received 9 January 2012; published 21 May 2012. We thank T. Rosenband for insightful discussions. K. N. acknowledges support from Caltech CPI. DEC acknowledges support from CPI and the Fundacio Cellex Barcelona. This work is supported by DARPA ORCHID program, the NSF, DoD NSSEFF, and Caltech IQIM, an NSF Physics Frontier Center with support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Center for the Physics of Information, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Fundacio Cellex BarcelonaUNSPECIFIED
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
National Security Science and Engineering Faculty FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:21
Classification Code:PACS: 45.80.+r, 03.67.-a, 42.50.Wk, 62.25.-g
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120620-132223673
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Official Citation:Enhancement of Mechanical Q Factors by Optical Trapping K.-K. Ni, R. Norte, D. J. Wilson, J. D. Hood, D. E. Chang, O. Painter, and H. J. Kimble Published 21 May 2012 (5 pages) 214302
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31988
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:20 Jun 2012 20:46
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 20:02

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