Levitated Optomechanics in a Hybrid Electro-Optical Trap
February 23rd, 2018 PIERGIACOMO FONSECA University College London

The cooling of the centre-of-mass motion of a levitated macroscopic particle is seen as an important step towards the creation of long-lived macroscopic quantum states and the study of quantum mechanics and nonclassicality at large mass scales. Levitation in vacuum minimizes coupling to the environment, while the lack of clamping leads to extremely high mechanical quality factors of the oscillating particle. However, like cold atoms trapped in vacuum, levitated nanoparticles are sensitive to parametric noise and internal heating via even a small absorption of the levitating light field. This limits the lower pressure at which particles can be stably trapped and cavity cooled.

Such problem can be overcome by levitating a naturally charged silica nanosphere in a hybrid electro-optical trap by combining a Paul trap with an optical dipole trap formed from a single mode optical cavity. The cavity offers readout of both linear-in-position and quadratic-in-position light-matter coupling, whilst simultaneously cooling the nanosphere to millikelvin temperatures, for indefinite periods of time in high vacuum.

Seminar, February 23, 2018, 15:00. ICFO’s Seminar Room.

Hosted by Prof. Romain Quidant