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Energy-dependent path of dissipation in nanomechanical resonators

Abstract

Energy decay plays a central role in a wide range of phenomena1,2,3, such as optical emission, nuclear fission, and dissipation in quantum systems. Energy decay is usually described as a system leaking energy irreversibly into an environmental bath. Here, we report on energy decay measurements in nanomechanical systems based on multilayer graphene that cannot be explained by the paradigm of a system directly coupled to a bath. As the energy of a vibrational mode freely decays, the rate of energy decay changes abruptly to a lower value. This finding can be explained by a model where the measured mode hybridizes with other modes of the resonator at high energy. Below a threshold energy, modes are decoupled, resulting in comparatively low decay rates and giant quality factors exceeding 1 million. Our work opens up new possibilities to manipulate vibrational states4,5,6,7, engineer hybrid states with mechanical modes at completely different frequencies, and to study the collective motion of this highly tunable system.

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Figure 1: Nonlinear energy decay process, mode hybridization and graphene resonator.
Figure 2: Energy decay measurements of a graphene resonator with a Q-factor of 1 million in the low-vibrational-amplitude regime.
Figure 3: Energy decay in the high-vibrational-amplitude regime.
Figure 4: Driven response and energy decay traces.

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Acknowledgements

We thank M. Dykman, S. Shaw, D. Lopez, F. Guinea and N. Noury for discussions. We acknowledge G. Ceballos and the ICFO mechanical and electronic workshop for support. We acknowledge financial support by the ERC starting grant 279278 (CarbonNEMS), the EU Graphene Flagship (contract no. 604391), the Foundation Cellex, Severo Ochoa (SEV-2015-0522) and grant MAT2012-31338 of MINECO, the Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER), and the Generalitat through AGAUR. A.I. and A.M.E. acknowledge financial support through the Swedish Research Council and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation.

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Contributions

P.W. fabricated the devices. J.G., A.N. and P.W. carried out the experiment with support from C.L. and J.M. Theoretical modelling and simulations were done by A.M.E. and A.I. The JPA was provided by C.E. and A.W. The data analysis was done by J.G., A.N., P.W., A.M.E., A.I. and A.B. J.G., A.I. and A.B. wrote the manuscript with comments from the other authors. A.B. supervised the work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Adrian Bachtold.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Güttinger, J., Noury, A., Weber, P. et al. Energy-dependent path of dissipation in nanomechanical resonators. Nature Nanotech 12, 631–636 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2017.86

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