Sympathetic detection and cooling of nanoparticles levitated in a Paul trap
The goal of the proposed project is to explore the feasibility of the sympathetic detection and cooling of the center-of-mass motion of electrodynamically levitated mesoscopic particles without direct laser illumination. This will pave the way for experiments with absorptive particles in high and ultra-high vacuum. Such sympathetic cooling, exploiting the Coulomb interaction, has been realized in experiments with atomic ions, molecular ions and proteins. However, its extension to mesoscopic system remains an open challenge. Unlike in the above mentioned experiments where heavier particles, like proteins, have been cooled via Coulomb interaction with atomic ions, we are planning to use a cold, directly cooled silica nanosphere to cool the CoM motion of the other mesoscopic particles in the trap.