Kerr Enhanced Backaction Cooling in Magnetomechanics

Optomechanics is a prime example of light matter interaction, where photons directly couple to phonons, allowing the precise control and measurement of the state of a mechanical object. This makes it a very appealing platform for testing fundamental physics or for sensing applications. Usually, such mechanical oscillators are in highly excited thermal states and require cooling to the mechanical ground state for quantum applications, which is often accomplished by using optomechanical backaction. However, while massive mechanical oscillators are desirable for many tasks, their frequency usually decreases below the cavity linewidth, significantly limiting the methods that can be used to efficiently cool. Here, we demonstrate a novel approach relying on an intrinsically nonlinear cavity to backaction-cool a low frequency mechanical oscillator. We experimentally demonstrate outperforming an identical, but linear, system by more than 1 order of magnitude. Furthermore, our theory predicts that with this approach we can also surpass the standard cooling limit of a linear system. By exploiting a nonlinear cavity, our approach enables efficient cooling of a wider range of optomechanical systems, opening new opportunities for fundamental tests and sensing.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 130, 033601 (2023)
arXiv:2202.13228 (quant-ph)