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Superconducting Electromechanical and Nanophotonic Devices for Quantum Measurement and Conversion


Kalaee, Mahmoud (2019) Superconducting Electromechanical and Nanophotonic Devices for Quantum Measurement and Conversion. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/3PMX-2Y88.


Microscale and nanoscale mechanical resonators have been used in advanced technological applications, from high precision time keeping and mass sensing, to processing high frequency signals in mobile communications. In the last few decades, they have been an important part of progress in the field of quantum information and metrology and have been proposed as quantum memories or transducers for measuring or connecting different types of quantum systems.

The field of cavity optomechanics and electromechanics is concerned with coupling the electromagnetic field of a resonant optical cavity or electrical circuit to mechanical motion. These systems provide potential means to control and engineer the state of a mechanical object at the quantum level. This thesis contains the description of mechanical systems in megahertz to a few hundred megahertz frequency range formed by nano-fabricating photonic, phononic, and electrical circuits on a chip. These structures are designed to provide a large radiation pressure coupling between mechanical motion and electromagnetic fields to address and manipulate motional degrees of freedom. Qualitatively novel quantum effects are expected when one takes a step beyond linear coupling and exploits higher order interactions. To that end, we integrate electrical, mechanical and photonic structures in a multimode photonic crystal structure to observe "x2-coupling", where the optical cavity frequency is coupled to the square of the mechanical displacement. Moreover, we have developed two integrated on-chip platforms based on Si3N4 and Si nanomembranes capable of interfacing superconducting qubits and optical photons and realizing reversible microwave-to-optical conversion. We employ radiation pressure to cool these mechanical resonators to their quantum ground state. Finally, we demonstrate a form of electromechanical crystal for coupling microwave photons and hypersonic phonons of frequency ωm/2π = 0.425 GHz by capacitively coupling a phononic crystal acoustic cavity to a superconducting microwave resonator. Moving to higher frequency acoustic cavities not only facilitates the integration of electromechanical circuits and nanophotonic systems capable of operation in the resolved sideband limit of optomechanics for noise-free quantum signal conversion, but it opens up the possibility of using phonons as information carriers via phononic circuits. Utilizing a two-photon resonance condition for efficient microwave pumping and phononic bandgap shield to eliminate acoustic radiation, we achieve large cooperative electromechanical coupling (C ≈ 30) and intrinsic decay time of 2.3 ms. Moreover, electrical read-out of the phonon occupancy shows that the acoustic mode thermalizes close to its quantum ground-state of motion (phonon occupancy nm=1.5) at a fridge temperature of Tf = 10 mK. We conclude by considering several designs and fabrication improvements to the hypersonic electromechanical crystals that would enable them to perform quantum conversion between the electrical and acoustic domain.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Superconducting Circuits, Electromechanics, Nanophotonics, Quantum Measurement
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Painter, Oskar J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Vahala, Kerry J. (chair)
  • Minnich, Austin J.
  • Faraon, Andrei
  • Painter, Oskar J.
Defense Date:27 August 2018
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:10252018-150052650
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11247
Deposited By: Mahmoud Kalaee
Deposited On:29 Oct 2018 18:30
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:23

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