Optomechanical Quantum Sensors at Room Temperature


Funded by: European Commission  
Calls: ERANET cofund
Start date: 2018-03-01  End date: 2021-02-28
Total Budget: EUR 2.364.640,00  INO share of the total budget: EUR 269.438,00
Scientific manager:    and for INO is: Marin Francesco

Organization/Institution/Company main assignee: CNR – Istituto Nazionale di Ottica (INO)

other Organization/Institution/Company involved:
TU Delft – The Netherlands
CNRS-Université Paris Diderot – France
University of Vienna (UNIVIE) – Austria
University of Konstanz (UKON) – Germany

other INO’s people involved:
Marin Francesco
Marino Francesco Mario Simone
Vitali David

Abstract: The research in cavity optomechanics has recently achieved a major breakthrough: the first observation of quantum phenomena in cryogenic, optically cooled mechanical resonators (i.e., actually in macroscopic objects), as well as in the electromagnetic field interacting with such resonators. These results open the way to the exploitation of optomechanical systems as quantum sensors. The main target of this project is indeed the creation of optomechanical sensing devices achieving the quantum limit in the measurement process, and exploiting peculiar quantum properties, of both the mechanical oscillator and the interacting radiation field, to enhance the efficiency of the measurement and to integrate the extracted information in quantum communication systems. We will develop three different platforms that, according to the present state of the art, are the most suitable to achieve our goal: (i) tensioned dielectric membranes (ii) trapped nanoparticles (iii) semiconductor nano-optomechanical disks. This parallel approach allows to increase the success probability, to extend the operating frequency range and diversify the systems for a larger versatility. Moreover, in order to study specific quantum protocols, we will exploit nano-electro-mechanical systems which have been shown to be the most suitable classical test-bench for this purpose thanks to their long coherence even at room temperature and their unprecedented control. Mechanical and optical properties of the different resonators will be improved, choosing innovative paths to advance the state of the art, in order to increase the coherent coupling rate and reduce the decoherence rate, eventually achieving quantum performance of the devices at room temperature, a crucial requirement for a realistic application scenario as sensors. We will produce portable sensing systems, evaluate and compare the performance of the different platforms as acceleration sensors, study the possibilities of system integration and of functionalization for future extended sensing capability. Producing and manipulating quantum states of a sensor is an important pre-requisite for the quantum revolution, e.g., for implementing a quantum network that collects information from the environment and transfers it into quantum communication channels.

INO’s Experiments/Theoretical Study correlated:
Cavity opto-mechanics