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A single Nitrogen-Vacancy defect coupled to a nanomechanical resonator,

O. Arcizet, V. Jacques, A. Siria, P. Poncharal, P. Vincent and S. Seidelin, Nature Physics 7, 879-883 (2011)

We position a single nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centre hosted in a diamond nanocrystal at the extremity of a SiC nanowire. This novel hybrid system couples the degrees of freedom of two radically different systems: a nanomechanical oscillator and a single quantum object. We probe the dynamics of the nano-resonator through time-resolved nanocrystal fluorescence and photon-correlation measurements, conveying the influence of a mechanical degree of freedom on a non-classical photon emitter. Moreover, by immersing the system in a strong magnetic field gradient, we induce a magnetic coupling between the nanomechanical oscillator and the NV electronic spin, providing nanomotion readout through a single electronic spin. Spin-dependent forces inherent to this coupling scheme are essential in a variety of active cooling and entanglement protocols used in atomic physics, and should now be within the reach of nanomechanical hybrid systems.


We acknowledge J. Jarreau, C. Hoarau, D. Lepoitevin, J. F. Motte, P. Brichon, N. Dempsey, O. Fruchart, F. D. Bouchiat, D. Givord, E. Gheeraert, O. Mollet, A. Drezet, J. F. Roch, S. Huant and J. Chevrier for technical support, experimental assistance and discussions. This work is funded by the European Commission (Marie Curie ERG within FP7) and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (projects QNAO and QNOM).

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