"The chief endeavor of the project is to develop, investigate and exploit systems associating nanoscale mechanical resonators with single quantum objects. Such combinations belong in the category of so-called “hybrid nanomechanical systems” which constitutes a rapidly expanding field in modern quantum- and nanophysics.
The benefit of exploring hybrid systems is manifold. From a practical point of view, due to their size, nanoresonators are extremely sensitive to external forces. If associated with a high resolution optical sensor through which the nanoresonator can be non-invasively probed and manipulated, the hybrid system holds promise to act as an ultrasensitive force probe. On a more fundamental level, unexplored quantum regimes become within reach, where the interface between quantum objects and mechanical systems can be thoroughly investigated. From a conceptual point of view, such experiments are of paramount importance as they could reveal the quantum behavior of macroscopic objects.
To accommodate these ideas, I propose to develop and investigate two types of hybrid systems. The first one consists of a single nitrogen-vacancy (NV) defect hosted in a diamond nanocrystal, positioned at the extremity of a nanowire. My team and I recently demonstrated magnetic coupling of the NV spin to the resonator position and thereby evidenced the feasibility of realizing such a quantum to mechanical interface. This novel system can readily be improved to meet the severe requirements of the quantum opto-mechanical experiments envisioned in this project. The second approach also exploits a NV centre, but this time as an integrated part of a diamond resonator. This monolithic system potentially offers an unprecedented coupling, a supreme overall stability, and NV centres with improved characteristics, together expanding the scope of conceivable experiments."
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