In this project we explore the optical trapping and cooling of small (~150 nm) silica nanospheres. By levitating these small particles in a focussed beam of laser light, an opto-mechanical system is created with very interesting properties. Through feedback cooling the motional degree of freedom of the particles can be reduced, thereby realising an oscillator with a very high Q value. There are many interesting applications of such systems, such as their use as vibration and force sensors, the exploration of the classical - quantum regime, and tests of fundamental thermodynamics.
This research is funded by the NWA (National Science Agenda), and is a collaborative project with Klaus Jungmann (VSI), George Palazantzas (ZIAM), Elisabetta Pallante (VSI), Casper van der Wal (ZIAM), Dries van Oosten (UU), Peter van der Straten (UU), Heinrich Wörtche (TuE), Evelina Domnitch (Energetica Lab), Dmitri Gelfand (Energetica Lab), Laslo Evers (KNMI and Delft).
Bart Schellenberg, Mina Morshed Behbahani, Nithesh Balasubramanian, Ties H. Fikkers, Steven Hoekstra
Applied Physics Letters, vol. 123(11), 2023