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Quantum Optomechanics with Silicon Nanostructures


Safavi-Naeini, Amir Hossein (2013) Quantum Optomechanics with Silicon Nanostructures. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/VZW9-1Z52.


Mechanical resonators are the most basic and ubiquitous physical systems known. In on-chip form, they are used to process high frequency signals in every cell phone, television, and laptop. They have also been in the last few decades in different shapes and forms, a critical part of progress in quantum information sciences with kilogram-scale mirrors for gravitational wave detection measuring motion at its quantum limits, and the motion of single ions being used to link qubits for quantum computation.

Optomechanics is a field primarily concerned with coupling light to the motion of mechanical structures. This thesis contains descriptions of recent work with mechanical systems in the megahertz to gigahertz frequency range, formed by nanofabricating novel photonic/phononic structures on a silicon chip. These structures are designed to have both optical and mechanical resonances, and laser light is used to address and manipulate their motional degrees of freedom through radiation pressure forces. We laser cool these mechanical resonators to their ground states, and observe for the first time the quantum zero-point motion of a nanomechanical resonator. Conversely, we show that engineered mechanical resonances drastically modify the optical response of our structures, creating large effective optical nonlinearities not present in bulk silicon. We experimentally demonstrate aspects of these nonlinearities by proposing and observing ``electromagnetically induced transparency'' and light slowed down to 6 m/s, as well as wavelength conversion, and generation of nonclassical optical radiation. Finally, the application of optomechanics to longstanding problems in quantum and classical communications are proposed and investigated.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Nanomechanical resonator, Optomechanics, Quantum Optics, Quantum Mechanics, Photonics, Photonic Crystals, Phononic Crystals, Phonons, Photons, Hybrid Quantum Systems, Quantum Engineering, Silicon Photonics
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.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Thesis Committee:
  • Painter, Oskar J. (chair)
  • Kimble, H. Jeff
  • Schwab, Keith C.
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
Defense Date:21 May 2013
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05312013-145253965
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7797
Deposited By: Amir Hossein Safavi-Naeini
Deposited On:03 Jun 2013 22:15
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 21:33

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