Apr 052013

The Nanophotonics Lab welcomes our newest group member, Felipe Santos (or Felipinho!). Felipe's research will be focused on investigating the quantum nature of opto-mechanical oscillators.

 Posted by at 11:53 am
Jan 182012


Viewpoint: Seeing the “Quantum” in Quantum Zero-Point Fluctuations

Aashish Clerk,
Department of Physics, McGill University, Montréal, Québec H3A 2T8, Canada

Physics, 5, 8 (2012)

A technique from ion spectroscopy reveals the quantum nature of a mechanical system at low temperature.

Quantum zero-point motion, the fluctuation in the position of an object necessitated by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, is among the most basic of quantum phenomena. While the origin of such fluctuations may be textbook material, unambiguously detecting them in a large mechanical structure (i.e., large compared to atomic scales) and, moreover, detecting their quantum nature, have remained elusive goals. These two tasks have now been accomplished by Amir Safavi-Naeini and co-workers at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. See more

 Posted by at 3:25 pm
Jan 182012


Observation of Quantum Motion of a Nanomechanical Resonator

Amir H. Safavi-Naeini, Jasper Chan, Jeff T. Hill, Thiago P. Mayer Alegre, Alex Krause, and Oskar Painter

Physical Review Letters, 108, 033602 (2012)

See accompanying Physics Viewpoint

In this Letter we use resolved sideband laser cooling to cool a mesoscopic mechanical resonator to near its quantum ground state (phonon occupancy 2.6 +/- 0.2), and observe the motional sidebands generated on a second probe laser. Asymmetry in the sideband amplitudes provides a direct measure of the displacement noise power associated with quantum zero-point fluctuations of the nanomechanical resonator, and allows for an intrinsic calibration of the phonon occupation number.

 Posted by at 1:57 pm
Jan 162012


Optomecânica de microcavidades: do quente ao frio

Thiago P. Mayer Alegre, Gustavo S. Wiederhecker

Physicae, 10, (2011)

O efeito mecânico da luz é amplamente usado em armadilhas ou “pinças” ópticas usadas na manipulação de micro partículas como células vivas, DNA e bactérias. Por este mesmo efeito, as paredes refletoras de uma cavidade óptica são constantemente submetidas a uma pequena força gerada pelo campo eletromagnético confinado na cavidade. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:54 am
Nov 222011


A chip-scale integrated cavity-electro-optomechanics platform

M. Winger, T. D. Blasius, T. P. Mayer Alegre, A. H. Safavi-Naeini, S. Meenehan, J. Cohen, S. Stobbe, and O. Painter

Optics Express, 19, 24905-24921 (2011)

We present an integrated optomechanical and electromechanical nanocavity, in which a common mechanical degree of freedom is coupled to an ultrahigh-Q photonic crystal defect cavity and an electrical circuit. Continue reading »

Oct 062011


Laser cooling of a nanomechanical oscillator into its quantum ground state

Jasper Chan, T. P. Mayer Alegre, Amir H. Safavi-Naeini, Jeff T. Hill, Alex Krause, Simon Gröblacher, Markus Aspelmeyer & Oskar Painter

Nature 478, 89-92 (06 October 2011)


The simple mechanical oscillator, canonically consisting of a coupled mass–spring system, is used in a wide variety of sensitive measurements, including the detection of weak forces and small masses. Continue reading »

Sep 092011


Controlling photonic structures using optical forces

Gustavo S. Wiederhecker, Long Chen, Alexander Gondarenko & Michal Lipson

Nature 462, 633-636 (3 December 2009)


The use of optical forces to manipulate small objects is well known. Applications include the manipulation of living cells Continue reading »

Sep 092011


Electromagnetically induced transparency and slow light with optomechanics

Amir H. Safavi-Naeini, Thiago P. Mayer Alegre, Jasper Chan, Matt Eichenfield, Martin Winger, Qiang Lin, Jeff T. Hill, Darrick E. Chang and Oskar Painter

Nature 472, 69–73 (07 April 2011)


Controlling the interaction between localized optical and mechanical excitations has recently become possible Continue reading »

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