Mechanical resonators based on carbon nanotubes

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Mechanical resonators based on carbon nanotubes feature a series of truly exceptional properties. They are the smallest operating mechanical resonators that have been produced thus far. The Q-factor approaches 10 million, and they can be cooled to a few quanta of vibrations, as recently shown by our group. The quantum fluctuation amplitude is about 10 pm, which is orders of magnitude larger than what can be achieved in other mechanical resonators. Because of the large quantum fluctuations, the mechanical vibrations are sensitive to the tiny forces associated with the electrons flowing through the nanotube, and vice versa. Advances in our labs allowed us to produce extraordinary clean nanotube devices. These suspended nanotubes are essentially free of defects and adsorption contamination, as revealed by quantum electron interference measurements, which are extremely sensitive to scattering centres.