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Slowing, advancing and switching of microwave signals using circuit nanoelectromechanics

Abstract

The parametric coupling of electromagnetic and mechanical degrees of freedom gives rise to a host of optomechanical phenomena. Examples include quantum-limited displacement measurements, sideband cooling or amplification of mechanical motion. Likewise, this interaction provides mechanically mediated functionality for the processing of electromagnetic signals, such as microwave amplification. Here, we couple a superconducting niobium coplanar waveguide cavity to a nanomechanical oscillator, and demonstrate all-microwave field-controlled tunable slowing and advancing of microwave signals, with millisecond distortion-free delay and negligible losses. This is realized by using electromechanically induced transparency, an effect analogous to electromagnetically induced transparency in atomic physics. Moreover, by temporally modulating the electromechanical coupling and correspondingly the transparency window, switching of microwave signals is demonstrated and its temporal dynamics investigated. The exquisite temporal control gained over the electromechanical coupling provides the basis for realizing advanced protocols for storage of both classical and quantum microwave signals.

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Figure 1: Superconducting circuit nanoelectromechanical system.
Figure 2: Electromechanical and nanomechanical response.
Figure 3: Delayed and advanced microwave pulse propagation in a circuit electromechanical system in the presence of electromechanically induced transparency at 200 mK.
Figure 4: Switching dynamics.

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Acknowledgements

T.J.K. acknowledges support by the NCCR of Quantum Engineering, an ERC Starting Grant (SiMP) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). Financial support from the German Excellence Initiative through the Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) is gratefully acknowledged. Samples were grown and fabricated at the Center of MicroNanotechnology (CMi) at EPFL. The authors acknowledge the assistance of S. Weis, T. Niemczyk and H. Chibani in fabrication, and P. Hakonen and P. Lähteenmäki for measurement in the early phase of the project.

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Contributions

X.Z. designed and fabricated the samples. The cryogenic measurement set-up was implemented by F.H. and H.H. F.H., X.Z., H.H. and A.S. performed the experiments. X.Z. and A.S. performed theoretical modelling and analysis of the data. X.Z. wrote the paper with guidance from A.S. and T.J.K. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final version of the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to H. Huebl or T. J. Kippenberg.

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Zhou, X., Hocke, F., Schliesser, A. et al. Slowing, advancing and switching of microwave signals using circuit nanoelectromechanics. Nature Phys 9, 179–184 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys2527

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