Magneto-mechanical trapping of micro-diamonds at low pressures

M. C. O'Brien, S. Dunn, J. E. Downes, J. Twamley*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    A number of quantum technologies require macroscopic mechanical oscillators possessing ultra-high motional Q-factors. These can be used to explore the macroscopic limits of quantum mechanics, to develop quantum sensors and to test the quantum nature of gravity. One approach is to trap nanometer to micron-sized particles in 3D; however, the use of ion or optical traps suffers from a number of difficulties including electrodynamic noise due to patch fields, damage to the particles due to unwanted laser heating, or difficulty in reaching low pressures due to particle loss. In this work, we report a completely passive, magnetic trap which confines a micro-diamond in 3D and which requires no active power - optical or electrical. We design, model, fabricate, and test the operation of our magneto-mechanical trap and experimentally demonstrate trapping down to ∼0.1 Torr. We measure the position fluctuation of the trapped micro-diamond as a function of pressure and find good agreement with Brownian theory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number053103
    Pages (from-to)1-5
    Number of pages5
    JournalApplied Physics Letters
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2019


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