Approaching the Quantum Limit of a Nanomechanical Resonator

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Science  02 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5667, pp. 74-77
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094419

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By coupling a single-electron transistor to a high–quality factor, 19.7-megahertz nanomechanical resonator, we demonstrate position detection approaching that set by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle limit. At millikelvin temperatures, position resolution a factor of 4.3 above the quantum limit is achieved and demonstrates the near-ideal performance of the single-electron transistor as a linear amplifier. We have observed the resonator's thermal motion at temperatures as low as 56 millikelvin, with quantum occupation factors of NTH = 58. The implications of this experiment reach from the ultimate limits of force microscopy to qubit readout for quantum information devices.

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