Laser-induced rotation and cooling of a trapped microgyroscope in vacuum

Yoshihiko Arita, Michael Mazilu, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

249 Citations (Scopus)


Quantum state preparation of mesoscopic objects is a powerful playground for the elucidation of many physical principles. The field of cavity optomechanics aims to create these states through laser cooling and by minimizing state decoherence. Here we demonstrate simultaneous optical trapping and rotation of a birefringent microparticle in vacuum using a circularly polarized trapping laser beam - a microgyroscope. We show stable rotation rates up to 5 MHz. Coupling between the rotational and translational degrees of freedom of the trapped microgyroscope leads to the observation of positional stabilization in effect cooling the particle to 40 K. We attribute this cooling to the interaction between the gyroscopic directional stabilization and the optical trapping field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2374
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC grant numbers: EP/J01771X/1 and EP/G061688/1) for funding. K.D. acknowledges the support from a Royal Society Wolfson-Merit Award. We thank A. Di Falco for the SEM images of vaterite crystals and M. Ross for the development of the high power PZT controller.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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