Quantum-Limited Mechanical Resonator Measurement And Back-Action Cooling To Near The Quantum Ground State
For decades, quantum mechanics has been a hugely successful theory for understanding the microscopic world. Despite its seemingly non-physical predictions, such as superposition or cat states, the accuracy of the theory has been verified time and again for microscopic systems composed of single atoms or other quantum particles. Up till now, however, our understanding of how and if these quantum predictions scale to larger systems closer to our everyday perceptions, where we do not see quantum "weirdness", is an open question. One platform to pursue observation of quantum effects in a system composed of large ensembles of atoms rather than single particles is that of nanomechanical resonators. Several schemes have been proposed to observe quantum effects in these systems, eg ,, but a common feature is the requirement that the mechanical resonator be at or near its quantum ground state, which has proved challenging to achieve. In this dissertation, a novel mechanical motion readout scheme using superconducting resonators is presented and shown to allow near quantum limited detection. In any strong measurement of a system, quantum mechanics dictates that the measurement will inherently produce some "back-action" on the measured system. It will be shown that for the measurement system presented, back-action forces can additionally be used to cool a single mode of a mechanical resonator to near its quantum ground state, with the lowest observed occu- pation factor at 3.8 ±1.3 quanta. This is a low enough occupation level that the nanoresonator is in its ground state statistically 21% of the time and opens up the possibility of preforming further quantum experiments. The system investigated in this dissertation is composed of a nanoscale mechanical resonator capacitively coupled to a superconducting coplanar waveguide resonator. The resonators were nanofabricated on a silicon substrate and cooled to low temperature in a dilution refrigerator system. Applying microwave signals to the device and measuring output spectra provided the means to both observe the mechanical motion and produce the back-action forces.
Schwab, Keith C.
Mueller, Erich; Vengalattore, Mukund; Bhave, Sunil A.
Ph.D. of Physics
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis