UConn Physics Colloquium

Mesoscopic Mechanics

Miles P. Blencowe

Dartmouth College

Mesoscopic electromechanical systems [1] are nano-to-micron scale mechanical resonators coupled to electronic devices of comparable dimensions, such that the mechanical resonator behaves in a manifestly quantum manner. Dramatic progress towards realising such systems has been made with the demonstration of a GHz mechanical resonator [2], and demonstrated displacement detection close to the quantum limit based on the single electron transistor [3-5]. The latter system, comprising a single electron transistor and micron-scale mechanical resonator electrostatically-coupled to the transistor island, is predicted to exhibit surprisingly rich dynamical behavior [6]. The unprecedented displacement sensitivity of the SET transducer may also enable the observation of quantum 'jumps' in the motion of nanomechanical resonators at milliKelvin temperatures, due to the strain-mediated coupling between the flexing motion and tunneling defects of the resonator [7]. Such investigations are contributing towards a deeper understanding of the transition between quantum and classical dynamics.

[1] M. Blencowe, Phys. Rep. 395 (2004) 159.

[2] X. Huang, C. Zorman, M. Mehregany, M. Roukes, Nature 421 (2003) 496;

[3] M. Blencowe, M. Wybourne, Appl. Phys. Lett. 77 (2000) 3845;

[4] R. Knobel, A. Cleland, Nature 424 (2003), 291;

[5] M. LaHaye, O. Buu, B. Camarota, K. Schwab, Science 304 (2004) 74;

[6] A. Armour, M. Blencowe, Y. Zhang, Phys. Rev. B 69 (2004) 125313;

[7] Y. Tanaka, M. Blencowe (in preparation).

Friday, October 15, 2004
4:00 PM
Gant Science Complex
Physics Department
Room P38

(We will meet for refreshments prior to the talk at 3:30 p.m., in the Gant Science Complex, Physics Library, Room P-103.)

© 2004 Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
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