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Beating thermal noise in a dynamic signal measurement by a nanofabricated cavity-optomechanical sensor



Mingkang Wang, Diego Perez Morelo, Georg Ramer, Georges Pavlidis, Jeffrey Schwartz, Liya Yu, Robert Ilic, Andrea Centrone, Vladimir Aksyuk


Thermal fluctuations often impose both fundamental and practical measurement limits on high-performance sensors, motivating the development of techniques that bypass the limitations imposed by thermal noise outside cryogenic environments. Here, we theoretically propose and experimentally demonstrate a measurement method that reduces the effective transducer temperature and improves the measurement precision of a dynamic impulse response signal. Thermal noise–limited, integrated cavity optomechanical atomic force microscopy probes are used in a photothermal-induced resonance measurement to demonstrate an effective temperature reduction by a factor of ≈25, i.e., from room temperature down as low as ≈12 K, without cryogens. The method improves the experimental measurement precision and throughput by >2×, approaching the theoretical limit of ≈3.5× improvement for our experimental conditions. The general applicability of this method to dynamic measurements leveraging thermal noise–limited harmonic transducers will have a broad impact across a variety of measurement platforms and scientific fields.
Science Advances


NEMS, AFM, cavity optomechanical sensing, thermal noise


Wang, M. , Perez Morelo, D. , Ramer, G. , Pavlidis, G. , Schwartz, J. , Yu, L. , Ilic, R. , Centrone, A. and Aksyuk, V. (2023), Beating thermal noise in a dynamic signal measurement by a nanofabricated cavity-optomechanical sensor, Science Advances, [online], , (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created March 15, 2023, Updated April 13, 2023