Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cavity Cooling a Single Charged Levitated Nanosphere

J. Millen, P. Z. G. Fonseca, T. Mavrogordatos, T. S. Monteiro, and P. F. Barker

Optomechanical cavity cooling of levitated objects offers the possibility for laboratory investigation of the macroscopic quantum behavior of systems that are largely decoupled from their environment. However, experimental progress has been hindered by particle loss mechanisms, which have prevented levitation and cavity cooling in a vacuum. We overcome this problem with a new type of hybrid electro-optical trap formed from a Paul trap within a single-mode optical cavity. We demonstrate a factor of 100 cavity cooling of 400 nm diameter silica spheres trapped in vacuum. This paves the way for ground-state cooling in a smaller, higher finesse cavity, as we show that a novel feature of the hybrid trap is that the optomechanical cooling becomes actively driven by the Paul trap, even for singly charged nanospheres.

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