Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Scientific result | Photonics
A quantum dot is a semiconductor nanostructure that typically measures ten nanometers, with optical properties similar to those of an atom. These devices are commonly used in quantum optics studies for several purposes, including to generate light pulses containing exactly one photon. In this study, a quantum dot was used to finely probe the movement of a mechanical oscillator.
For this purpose, the dot was directly integrated at the base of the oscillator—a vertical wire ten micrometers high. When the latter vibrated, the box was subjected to an oscillating deformation, which modulates the gap between its energy levels, and consequently, the color of emitted photons. Using optical spectroscopy to precisely measure these variations makes it is possible to solve the thermal vibrations of different mechanical modes of the wire at cryogenic temperature, i.e. vibration amplitudes of the order of one hundred femtometers (10-13 m).
This study paves the way for the development of new sensors. Moreover, since the coupling between the quantum dot and the wire works in both directions, the quantum dot is able to set the oscillator in motion, despite the fact that it's a thousand times smaller
Resonant driving of a single photon emitter embedded in a mechanical oscillator, Nat. Comm.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.