Collision-resolved pressure sensing

TitleCollision-resolved pressure sensing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsBarker, DS, Carney, D, LeBrun, TW, Moore, DC, Taylor, JM
Date Published3/17/2023

Heat and pressure are ultimately transmitted via quantized degrees of freedom, like gas particles and phonons. While a continuous Brownian description of these noise sources is adequate to model measurements with relatively long integration times, sufficiently precise measurements can resolve the detailed time dependence coming from individual bath-system interactions. We propose the use of nanomechanical devices operated with impulse readout sensitivity around the ``standard quantum limit'' to sense ultra-low gas pressures by directly counting the individual collisions of gas particles on a sensor. We illustrate this in two paradigmatic model systems: an optically levitated nanobead and a tethered membrane system in a phononic bandgap shield.