Congratulations to our colleague Fabio Pisolesi at LOMA
for his publication in Nature Physics !

Nonlinear nanomechanical resonators approaching the quantum ground state
C. Samanta et al, Nature Physics (2023)


It is an open question whether mechanical resonators can be made nonlinear with vibrations approaching the quantum ground state. This requires the engineering of a mechanical nonlinearity far beyond what has been realized so far. Here we discover a mechanism to boost the Duffing nonlinearity by coupling the vibrations of a nanotube resonator to single-electron tunnelling and by operating the system in the ultrastrong-coupling regime. We find that thermal vibrations become highly nonlinear when lowering the temperature. The average vibration amplitude at the lowest temperature is 13 times the zero-point motion, with approximately 42% of the thermal energy stored in the anharmonic part of the potential. Our work may enable the realization of mechanical Schrödinger cat states, mechanical qubits and quantum simulators emulating the electron–phonon coupling.