Infoscience

Journal article

Dissipation engineering of high-stress silicon nitride nanobeams

High-stress Si$_3$N$_4$ nanoresonators have become an attractive choice for electro- and optomechanical devices. Membrane resonators can achieve quality factor ($Q$) - frequency ($f$) products exceeding $10^{13}$ Hz, enabling (in principle) quantum coherent operation at room temperature. String-like beam resonators possess conventionally 10 times smaller $Q\cdot f$ products; however, on account of their much larger $Q$-to-mass ratio and reduced mode density, they remain a canonical choice for precision force, mass, and charge sensing, and have recently enabled Heisenberg-limited position measurements at cryogenic temperatures. Here we explore two techniques to enhance the $Q$-factor of a nanomechanical beam. The techniques relate to two main loss mechanisms: internal loss, which dominates for large aspect ratios and $f\lesssim100$ MHz, and radiation loss, which dominates for small aspect ratios and $f\gtrsim100$ MHz. First we show that by embedding a nanobeam in a 1D phononic crystal, it is possible to localize its flexural motion and shield it against radiation loss. Using this method, we realize $f>100$ MHz modes with $Q\sim 10^4$, consistent with internal loss and contrasting sharply with unshielded beams of similar dimensions. We then study the $Q\cdot f$ products of high-order modes of mm-long nanobeams. Taking advantage of the mode-shape dependence of stress-induced `loss-dilution', we realize a $f\approx 4$ MHz mode with $Q\cdot f\approx9\cdot 10^{12}$ Hz. Our results can extend room temperature quantum coherent operation to ultra-low-mass 1D nanomechanical oscillators.

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