Mechanical resonators provide a unique opportunity to study the limits of quantum mechanics in high mass systems. Optomechanical cavities at many scales have emerged as excellent tools for controlling and measuring mechanical motion with extreme precision. Nevertheless, many challenges remain for optomechanical devices, particularly those with high mass and/or low frequency, before they can be molded into interesting quantum states. Many of these difficulties could be overcome by coupling optomechanical systems of different scales and different capabilities. I will present three techniques we use to address these problems: fabrication of high quality factor devices, a new theoretical scheme, and an experimental technique that couples resonators of different frequencies. We fabricate trampoline resonators, devices that combine mirrors and high stress silicon nitride to maintain the long optical and mechanical lifetimes necessary to protect quantum states. With these devices, we are able to generate an interaction between mechanical resonators that are naturally uncoupled. This new technique enables state transfer between different resonators and allows us to overcome experimental difficulties in generating a mechanical superposition state in a macroscopic resonator.
University of California at Santa Barbara, Department of Physics