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Squeezed light from a silicon micromechanical resonator

Safavi-Naeini, Amir H. and Gröblacher, Simon and Hill, Jeff T. and Chan, Jasper and Aspelmeyer, Markus and Painter, Oskar (2013) Squeezed light from a silicon micromechanical resonator. Nature, 500 (7461). pp. 185-189. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature12307.

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Monitoring a mechanical object’s motion, even with the gentle touch of light, fundamentally alters its dynamics. The experimental manifestation of this basic principle of quantum mechanics, its link to the quantum nature of light and the extension of quantum measurement to the macroscopic realm have all received extensive attention over the past half-century. The use of squeezed light, with quantum fluctuations below that of the vacuum field, was proposed nearly three decades ago as a means of reducing the optical read-out noise in precision force measurements. Conversely, it has also been proposed that a continuous measurement of a mirror’s position with light may itself give rise to squeezed light. Such squeezed-light generation has recently been demonstrated in a system of ultracold gas-phase atoms whose centre-of-mass motion is analogous to the motion of a mirror. Here we describe the continuous position measurement of a solid-state, optomechanical system fabricated from a silicon microchip and comprising a micromechanical resonator coupled to a nanophotonic cavity. Laser light sent into the cavity is used to measure the fluctuations in the position of the mechanical resonator at a measurement rate comparable to its resonance frequency and greater than its thermal decoherence rate. Despite the mechanical resonator’s highly excited thermal state (10^4 phonons), we observe, through homodyne detection, squeezing of the reflected light’s fluctuation spectrum at a level 4.5 ± 0.2 percent below that of vacuum noise over a bandwidth of a few megahertz around the mechanical resonance frequency of 28megahertz. With further device improvements, on-chip squeezing at significant levels should be possible, making such integrated microscale devices well suited for precision metrology applications.

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Safavi-Naeini, Amir H.0000-0001-6176-1274
Painter, Oskar0000-0002-1581-9209
Additional Information:© 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 25 February; accepted 16 May 2013. We would like to thank K. Hammerer and A. A. Clerk for discussions. This work was supported by the DARPA/MTO ORCHID programme through a grant from the AFOSR; the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, an NSF Physics Frontiers Center with support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; the Vienna Science and Technology Fund WWTF; the European Commission, through IP SIQS and iQUOEMS; and the European Research Council. A.H.S.-N. and J.C. gratefully acknowledge support from NSERC. S.G. acknowledges support from the European Commission through a Marie Curie Fellowship.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
NSF Physics Frontiers CenterUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Kavli Nanoscience InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Marie Curie FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Vienna Science and Technology Fund WWTFUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7461
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130311-095257640
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37434
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:11 Mar 2013 17:34
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:28

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