Measuring and Imaging Nanomechanical Motion with Laser Light

  • Andreas Barg
  • Yeghishe Tsaturyan
  • Erik Belhage
  • William H. P. Nielsen
  • Christoffer B. Møller
  • Albert SchliesserEmail author


We discuss several techniques based on laser-driven interferometers and cavities to measure nanomechanical motion. With increasing complexity, they achieve sensitivities reaching from thermal displacement amplitudes, typically at the picometer scale, all the way to the quantum regime, in which radiation pressure induces motion correlated with the quantum fluctuations of the probing light. We show that an imaging modality is readily provided by scanning laser interferometry, reaching a sensitivity on the order of \( 10\kern0.166667em \mathrm{fm}/{\mathrm{Hz}}^{1/2} \), and a transverse resolution down to \( 2\kern0.166667em \upmu \mathrm{m} \). We compare this approach with a less versatile, but faster (single-shot) dark-field imaging technique.



We would like to acknowledge our (former and present) colleagues Georg Anetsberger, Olivier Arcizet, Tobias Kippenberg, Jörg H. Müller, Eugene S. Polzik, Andreas Næsby Rasmussen, Remi Rivière, Anders Simonsen, Koji Usami, Stefan Weis, and Dalziel J. Wilson for their contributions to the work discussed here. Financial support came from the ERC starting grant Q-CEOM, a starting grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research, the EU FP7 grant iQUOEMS, and the Carlsberg Foundation.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Niels Bohr InstituteCopenhagenDenmark

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