All quantum optomechanics experiments to date operate at cryogenic temperatures, imposing severe technical challenges and fundamental constraints. Here, we present a novel design of on-chip mechanical resonators which exhibit fundamental modes with frequencies f and mechanical quality factors Qm sufficient to enter the optomechanical quantum regime at room temperature. We overcome previous limitations by designing ultrathin, high-stress silicon nitride (Si3N4) membranes, with tensile stress in the resonators’ clamps close to the ultimate yield strength of the material. By patterning a photonic crystal on the SiN membranes, we observe reflectivities greater than 99%. These on-chip resonators have remarkably low mechanical dissipation, with Qm∼108, while at the same time exhibiting large reflectivities. This makes them a unique platform for experiments towards the observation of massive quantum behavior at room temperature.
Norte, R. A., Moura, J. P., & Groeblacher, S. (2016). Mechanical Resonators for Quantum Optomechanics Experiments at Room Temperature. Physical Review Letters, 116(14), . https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.147202