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Collective (quantum) optomechanical phenomena

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Internship director : Ivan Favero
e-mail :
Phone number : 01 57 27 62 28
Funding : YES       type of funding : Europe

Optomechanics studies the coupling between light and mechanical oscillators. It is a burgeoning field of research at the interface of quantum optics, mesoscopic physics and mechanical micro/nano devices [1]. Analog to laser cooling of atoms, mechanical oscillators can be optically cooled to ultra-low temperature and reveal their quantum behavior, despite their macroscopic mass scale, opening a new area of quantum physics with implications in metrology, communications, sensing and gravitation physics.


Our optomechanical resonators are miniature semiconductor disks that combine lightweight mass, very high frequency (GHz), strong optomechanical coupling and ultra-low dissipation [2]. Integrated on a photonic chip, they allow the engineering of collective architectures where multiple mechanical oscillators are set in optical interaction. Examples go from elementary 2D patterns (optomechanical triangle in left figure) to massively parallel configurations (right figure), with variable topologies.

In a nano-optomechanical cascade configuration, we just demonstrated that propagating light could drive a transition towards synchronization [3]. In this PhD, we will now gain control over more complex optomechanical lattices. Because optical interactions between sites can be controlled down to the quantum level, such optomechanical arrays lend themselves to the implementation of functional networks, with applications in sensing [4], phase transitions (classical and quantum), and (quantum) metamaterials.

[1] I. Favero, and K. Karrai. Nat. Phot. 3, 201 (2009). M. Aspelmeyer et aL Rev. Mod. Phys. 86, 1391 (2014)
[2] L. Ding, C. Baker, P. S., A. L, S. Ducci, G. Leo and I. Favero. Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 263903 (2010).
[3] E. Gil-Santos, M. L, C. B, A. G, W. H, C. G, A. L, G. L and I. Favero. arXiv 1609.09712 (2016).
[4] E. Gil-Santos, C. B, D. T. N, W. H, C. G, A. L, S. D, G. L and I. Favero. Nature Nano 10, 810 (2015).