Name of the Principal Investigator (PI) : Olivier Arcizet
Name of the PI’s host institution for the project : Institut Néel, CNRS, - Grenoble, France
Full title : Hybrid quantum nano-optomechanics
Duration in months : 60
It has recently become possible to cool macroscopic mechanical oscillators down to their quantum ground state of motion. Various kinds of mechanical oscillators, ranging in mass from picograms to micrograms have now been prepared at ultralow mean phonon occupancy by combining traditional cryogenic and active cooling techniques. It is now time to envision even more challenging experiments aiming at "engineering" the quantum mechanical state of the oscillator. This can be achieved by coupling the ultracold oscillator to a second system whose quantum state can be independently controlled and transferred onto the mechanical oscillator. The combination of these two components defines a “hybrid” mechanical system.
This project aims at exploring the emerging field of hybrid quantum nano-optomechanics in a setting where both components of the system can be monitored and controlled simultaneously. The goal is to investigate the hybrid coupling between a nanomechanical oscillator and a Nitrogen Vacancy defect in diamond. The electronic spin state of the defect represents a unique quantum system, of exceptional quality, which can be readout and manipulated by optical means. The nanoresonators will be probed by exploiting the ultrasensitive optical techniques developed in the context of cavity optomechanics. When combined with the intrinsic, extremely high force sensitivity innate to nanomechanical oscillators, this approach promises to give unprecedented sensitivity for exploring the subtle signatures of the hybrid interaction. The goal of the project is to enter the quantum regime of hybrid nano-optomechanics and investigate unexplored phenomena, at the interface between the classical and quantum worlds.