Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) represent a new key disruptive technology providing potential solutions for research and industry across a wide range of sectors, from Quantum Information processing through physical sensors to biological sensor applications. As the dimensions of devices and structures reduce, new technologies and approaches are required.
At Royal Holloway we combine nanofabricated superconducting NEMs devices with novel SQUID readout systems, operated on low temperature platforms. We perform measurements in the temperature range 100 microkelvin to 8K. Resonators with quality factors of 1-100 million with a resonant frequency of order 1 MHz have been studied.
NEMS can be optimised using advanced fabrication techniques and new materials. The project will investigate new materials such as graphene and SiN, as well as metallic NEMS resonators. Using developments in SQUID design we will be able to study resonators in the frequency range up to 100 MHz. These low frequency and high Q resonators should produce states with a long coherence time, but will require ultra low temperatures to enter the quantum regime. These low temperatures will be achieved through “brute force” cooling with a nuclear demagnetisation cryostat.
The project will be supported jointly by RHUL and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The Quantum Detection Group at NPL has a wide range of experience in quantum technologies including Josephson junctions, cryogenic resonators, single electron transport devices, nano magnetism and trapped ions. NPL will bring its extensive knowledge of measurement techniques for electrical quantum systems to the project and will explore potential applications for the technology developed in its quantum metrology research programme. It is expected that the project will largely be based at RHUL but there will be opportunities to use the NPL facilities and benefit from the scientific and technical knowledge in the Quantum Detection Group.