Simultaneous ground-state cooling of two mechanical modes of a levitated nanoparticle

Johannes Piotrowski, Dominik Windey, Jayadev Vijayan, Carlos Gonzalez-Ballestero, Andrés de los Ríos Sommer, Nadine Meyer, Romain Quidant, Oriol Romero-Isart, Rene Reimann, Lukas Novotny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The quantum ground state of a massive mechanical system is a stepping stone for investigating macroscopic quantum states and building high fidelity sensors. With the recent achievement of ground-state cooling of a single motional mode, levitated nanoparticles have entered the quantum domain. To overcome detrimental cross-coupling and decoherence effects, quantum control needs to be expanded to more system dimensions, but the effect of a decoupled dark mode has so far hindered cavity-based ground-state cooling of multiple mechanical modes. Here, we demonstrate two-dimensional ground-state cooling of an optically levitated nanoparticle. Utilizing coherent scattering into an optical cavity mode, we reduce the occupation numbers of two separate centre-of-mass modes to 0.83 and 0.81, respectively. By controlling the frequency separation and the cavity coupling strengths of the nanoparticle’s mechanical modes, we show the transition from 1D to 2D ground-state cooling. This 2D control lays the foundations for quantum-limited orbital angular momentum states for rotation sensing and, combined with ground-state cooling along the third motional axis shown previously, may allow full 3D ground-state cooling of a massive object.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1013
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number7
Early online date6 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


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