Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published August 8, 2013 | Supplemental Material + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Squeezed light from a silicon micromechanical resonator


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.

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.

Attached Files

Submitted - 1302.6179v1.pdf

Supplemental Material - nature12307-s1.pdf


Files (4.9 MB)
Name Size Download all
2.1 MB Preview Download
2.8 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 23, 2023