Optomechanical systems offer a potential platform for testing quantum effects in relatively massive objects. We first examine the theory of optomechanical systems, primarily in the quantum limit, detailing a proposal for generating a superposition of a micro-mechanical resonator and the theory of optical feedback cooling. We then discuss the experimental requirements for observing these quantum effects and our attempts to construct an optomechanical system that meets these requirements. In particular, we describe a prototype system built from a tiny piece of dielectric mirror glued to an atomic force microscopy cantilever and use it to optically cool the cantilever to sub-Kelvin temperatures. In an effort to better understand the optical cavities used in optomechanical systems, we developed a new method for simulating the mode profiles and losses of diffraction limited high-finesse cavities. Finally, we cover our recent efforts to produce an improved optomechanical system, which includes the micro-fabrication of resonators with integrated mirrors, improvements to the optical cavity as a whole and the construction of a system capable of cryogenic temperatures.
|Commitee:||Balents, Leon, Cleland, Andrew|
|School:||University of California, Santa Barbara|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 71/05, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Condensed matter physics, Optics, Theoretical physics|
|Keywords:||Diffraction limitiations, Micromechanical systems, Optical cavities, Optomechanical systems, Quantum optics|
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