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Active-feedback quantum control of an integrated, low-frequency mechanical resonator

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posted on 2023-04-08, 16:01 authored by Jingkun Guo, Jin Chang, Xiong Yao, Simon Gröblacher
Preparing a massive mechanical resonator in a state where its motional energy is limited by quantum mechanics provides a promising platform for studying fundamental physics with macroscopic systems and allows to realize a variety of applications, including precise sensing. While over the past decade several demonstrations of such ground-state cooled systems have been achieved, in particular in sideband-resolved cavity optomechanics, for many systems overcoming the heating rate from the thermal bath remains a major challenge. In contrast, optomechanical systems in the sideband-unresolved limit are much easier to realize due to the relaxed requirements on the optical properties of the system. For such a system, a measurement based real-time control scheme can be implemented to reduce its motional energy, and the achievable energy is ultimately limited by the correlation between the measurement precision and the back-action due to the measurement. Here, we demonstrate measurement-based feedback cooling on a fully integrated optomechanical device fabricated using a pick-and-place method, operating deep in the sideband-unresolved limit. With the large optomechanical interaction and a low thermal decoherence rate, we achieve a minimal average phonon occupation of 0.76 when pre-cooled with liquid helium and 3.5 in a liquid nitrogen environment. Significant sideband asymmetry for all bath temperatures verifies the quantum character of the mechanical motion. Our method and device are ideally suited for sensing applications directly operating at the quantum limit and greatly simplifies the operation of an optomechanical system in this regime.

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