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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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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Affiliations

  1. ICFO-Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, 08860 Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain

    • Johannes Güttinger
    • , Adrien Noury
    • , Peter Weber
    • , Camille Lagoin
    • , Joel Moser
    •  & Adrian Bachtold
  2. Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden

    • Axel Martin Eriksson
    •  & Andreas Isacsson
  3. Department of Physics, ETH Zürich, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland

    • Christopher Eichler
    •  & Andreas Wallraff

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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.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Adrian Bachtold.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2017.86

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