Parametric feedback cooling of levitated optomechanics in a parabolic mirror trap

Jamie Vovrosh, Muddassar Rashid, David Hempston, James Bateman, Mauro Paternostro, Hendrik Ulbricht*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)
711 Downloads (Pure)


Levitated optomechanics, a new experimental physics platform, holds promise for fundamental science and quantum technological sensing applications. We demonstrate a simple and robust geometry for optical trapping in vacuum of a single nanoparticle based on a parabolic mirror and the optical gradient force. We demonstrate parametric feedback cooling of all three motional degrees of freedom from room temperature to a few millikelvin. A single laser at 1550 nm and a single photodiode are used for trapping, position detection, and cooling for all three dimensions. Particles with diameters from 26 to 160 nm are trapped without feedback to 10-5 mbar, and with feedback-engaged, the pressure is reduced to 10-6 mbar. Modifications to the harmonic motion in the presence of noise and feedback are studied, and an experimental mechanical quality factor in excess of 4 × 107 is evaluated. This particle manipulation is key to building a nanoparticle matter-wave interferometer in order to test the quantum superposition principle in the macroscopic domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1421-1428
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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