Cavity optomechanics mediated by a quantum two-level system

J. M. Pirkkalainen, S. U. Cho, F. Massel, J. Tuorila, T. T. Heikkilä, P. J. Hakonen, M. A. Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)


Coupling electromagnetic waves in a cavity and mechanical vibrations via the radiation pressure of photons is a promising platform for investigations of quantum-mechanical properties of motion. A drawback is that the effect of one photon tends to be tiny, and hence one of the pressing challenges is to substantially increase the interaction strength. A novel scenario is to introduce into the setup a quantum two-level system (qubit), which, besides strengthening the coupling, allows for rich physics via strongly enhanced nonlinearities. Here we present a design of cavity optomechanics in the microwave frequency regime involving a Josephson junction qubit. We demonstrate boosting of the radiation-pressure interaction by six orders of magnitude, allowing to approach the strong coupling regime. We observe nonlinear phenomena at single-photon energies, such as an enhanced damping attributed to the qubit. This work opens up nonlinear cavity optomechanics as a plausible tool for the study of quantum properties of motion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6981
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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