Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > NIST Electromechanical Circuit Sets Record Beating Microscopic 'Drum': Device May Help Process Information and Measure Motion at Quantum Scale

Colorized micrograph of NIST's aluminum drum, which is 15 micrometers in diameter and 100 nanometers thick. The drum is used in quantum information experiments and ultraprecise measurements of mechanical motion.
Credit: A. Sanders/NIST
Colorized micrograph of NIST's aluminum drum, which is 15 micrometers in diameter and 100 nanometers thick. The drum is used in quantum information experiments and ultraprecise measurements of mechanical motion.

Credit: A. Sanders/NIST

Abstract:
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated an electromechanical circuit in which microwaves communicate with a vibrating mechanical component 1,000 times more vigorously than ever achieved before in similar experiments. The microscopic apparatus is a new tool for processing information and potentially could control the motion of a relatively large object at the smallest possible, or quantum, scale.

NIST Electromechanical Circuit Sets Record Beating Microscopic 'Drum': Device May Help Process Information and Measure Motion at Quantum Scale

Boulder, CO | Posted on March 9th, 2011

Described in the March 10 issue of Nature,* the NIST experiments created strong interactions between microwave light oscillating 7.5 billion times per second and a "micro drum" vibrating at radio frequencies 11 million times per second. Compared to previously reported experiments combining microscopic machines and electromagnetic radiation, the rate of energy exchange in the NIST device—the "coupling" that reflects the strength of the connection—is much stronger, the mechanical vibrations last longer, and the apparatus is much easier to make.

Similar in appearance to an Irish percussion instrument called a bodhrán, the NIST drum is a round aluminum membrane 100 nanometers thick and 15 micrometers wide, lightweight and flexible enough to vibrate freely yet larger and heavier than the nanowires typically used in similar experiments.

"The drum is so much larger than nanowires physically that you can make this coupling strength go through the roof," says first author John Teufel, a NIST research affiliate who designed the drum. "The drum hits a perfect compromise where it's still microscale but you can couple to it strongly."
The NIST experiments shifted the microwave energy by 56 megahertz (MHz, or million cycles per second) per nanometer of drum motion, 1,000 times more than the previous state of the art.

"We turned up the rate at which these two things talk to each other," Teufel says.

The drum is incorporated into a superconducting cavity cooled to 40 milliKelvin, a temperature at which aluminum allows electric current to flow without resistance—a quantum property. Scientists apply microwaves to the cavity. Then, by applying a drive tone set at the difference between the frequencies of the microwave radiation particles (photons) and the drum, researchers dramatically increase the overall coupling strength to make the two systems communicate faster than their energy dissipates. The microwaves can be used to measure and control the drum vibrations, and vice versa. The drum motion will persist for hundreds of microseconds, according to the paper, a relatively long time in the fast-paced quantum world.

In engineering terms, the drum acts as a capacitor—a device that holds electric charge. Its capacitance, or ability to hold charge, depends on the position of the drum about 50 nanometers above an aluminum electrode. When the drum vibrates, the capacitance changes and the mechanical motion modulates the properties of the electrical circuit. The same principle is at work with a microphone and FM radio, but here the natural drum motion, mostly at one frequency, is transmitted to the listener in the lab.

The experiment is a step toward entanglement—a curious quantum state linking the properties of objects—between the microwave photons and the drum motion, Teufel says. The apparatus has the high coupling strength and low energy losses needed to generate entanglement, he says. Further experiments will address whether the mechanical drumbeats obey the rules of quantum mechanics, which govern the behavior of light and atoms.

The drum is a key achievement in NIST's effort to develop components for superconducting quantum computers and quantum simulations, while also working toward the widely sought scientific goal of making the most precise measurements possible of mechanical motion.

Quantum computers, if they can be built, could solve certain problems that are intractable today. The microwave and radiofrequency signals in the new electromechanical circuit could be used to represent quantum information. NIST scientists plan to combine the new circuit with superconducting quantum bits to create and manipulate motion of relatively large objects on the smallest (quantum) scales.

The experiment reported in Nature is a prelude to cooling the drum to its "ground state," or lowest-energy state. Starting from the ground state, the drum could be manipulated for the applications mentioned above. In addition, such control would enable tests of the boundary between the everyday classical and quantum worlds. The drum also has possible practical applications such as measuring length and force with sensitivities at levels of attometers (billionths of a billionth of a meter) and attonewtons (billionths of a billionth of a newton), respectively.

As a non-regulatory agency, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

* J.D. Teufel, D. Li, M.S. Allman, K. Cicak, A.J. Sirois, J.D. Whittaker, and R.W. Simmonds. 2011. Circuit cavity electromechanics in the strong coupling regime. Nature. March 10.

####

About NIST
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Laura Ost
303-497-4880

Copyright © NIST

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Physics

Helium 'balloons' offer new path to control complex materials June 27th, 2015

The peaks and valleys of silicon: Team of USC Viterbi School of Engineering Researchers introduce new layered semiconducting materials as silicon alternative June 27th, 2015

The quantum spin Hall effect is a fundamental property of light June 25th, 2015

Physicists fine-tune control of agile exotic materials: Tunable hybrid polaritons realized with graphene layer on hexagonal boron nitride June 24th, 2015

Discoveries

Measurement of Tiny Amounts of Heavy Metals in Baby Food Samples July 1st, 2015

Chitosan coated, chemotherapy packed nanoparticles may target cancer stem cells June 30th, 2015

Graphene flexes its electronic muscles: Rice-led researchers calculate electrical properties of carbon cones, other shapes June 30th, 2015

Researchers from the UCA, key players in a pioneering study that may explain the origin of several digestive diseases June 30th, 2015

Announcements

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Quantum nanoscience

The quantum spin Hall effect is a fundamental property of light June 25th, 2015

Lancaster University revolutionary quantum technology research receives funding boost June 22nd, 2015

UAB researchers design the most precise quantum thermometer to date: The device would be capable of measuring the temperature of a cell's interior June 7th, 2015

Visualizing the 'matrix': App provides insight into the quantum world of coupled nuclear spins June 3rd, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project