The ICB lab at Université de Bourgogne was happy to welcome Pr. Romain Quidant, head of the Nanophotonic Systems lab at ETH Zürich the 9-10 October 2023.

The students of the second edition of the Erasmus Mundus Master QuanTEEM were invited to attend the seminar that Pr. Quidant gave during his visit in Dijon entitled:

Levitation and control of microscopic objects in vacuum

The control of levitated nano- and micro-objects in vacuum (also known as « Levitodynamics »), reaching unprecedented levels of isolation from the environment, has gained considerable attention over the last decade owing to its potential to advance both fundamental science and technology. The ability to manipulate and measure translation, rotation, and free dynamics of these objects with ultra-high precision has led to a new experimental platform with opportunities for fundamental and applied research.

While early levitation experiments made use of optical potentials and weakly absorbing dielectric polarizable particles, the toolbox expanded in recent years to include techniques borrowed from the atom trapping community. The development of electrostatic and magnetic levitation made it possible to overcome excessive photoheating of the trapped specimen and extended levitation to a broader range of particles, including particles with internal degrees of freedom. Furthermore, on-chip integration has been identified as key to interface levitodynamics with other existing technologies, to increase platform robustness and compatibility with cryogenic conditions, and to devise autonomous and portable sensors.

In this talk we first introduce the audience to the field of levitodynamics, highlighting its advantages over other clamped optomechanical platforms. We then present the different strategies developed to gain control over the center-of-mass motion of levitated objects. This includes the implementation of hybrid levitation platforms combining optical and RF potentials. Finally, we discuss the latest advances from our laboratory related to engineering macroscopic quantum states and force sensing.