Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Optical detection of radio waves through a nanomechanical transducer



Jacob M. Taylor, Tolga Bagci, A Simonsen, Silvan Schmid, L Villanueva, Emil Zeuthen, Anders Sorensen, Koji Usami, A Schliesser, E.S. Polzik


Low-loss transmission and sensitive recovery of weak radio-frequency (rf) and mi- crowave signals is an ubiquitous technological challenge, crucial in fields as diverse as radio astronomy, medical imaging, navigation and communication, including those of quantum states. Efficient upconversion of rf-signals to an optical carrier would al- low transmitting them via optical fibers instead of copper wires dramatically reducing losses, and give access to the mature toolbox of quantum optical techniques, routinely enabling quantum-limited signal detection. Research in the field of cavity optomechan- ics [1, 2] has shown that nanomechanical oscillators can couple very strongly to either microwave [3–5] or optical fields [6, 7]. An oscillator accommodating both these func- tionalities would bear great promise as the intermediate platform in a radio-to-optical transduction cascade. Here, we demonstrate such an opto-electro-mechanical trans- ducer following a recent proposal [8] utilizing a high-Q nanomembrane. A moderate voltage bias (Vdc


optomechanics, electromechanics, hybrid quantum systems, graphene, silicon-nitride, nanomechanics


Taylor, J. , Bagci, T. , Simonsen, A. , Schmid, S. , Villanueva, L. , Zeuthen, E. , Sorensen, A. , Usami, K. , Schliesser, A. and Polzik, E. (2014), Optical detection of radio waves through a nanomechanical transducer, Nature, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created March 5, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018