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An increasing number of experiments require the use of ultrasensitive nanomechanical resonators. Relevant examples are the investigation of quantum effects in mechanical systems [1] or the detection of exceedingly small forces as in Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (MRFM) [2]. The force sensitivity of a mechanical resonator is typically limited by thermal fluctuations, which calls for detection methods capable of operating at ultralow temperature. Commonly used interferometric techniques, despite their excellent sensitivity, may not be an optimal choice at millikelvin temperatures, because of unwanted resonator heating caused by photon absorption. Although alternative detection techniques based on microwave cavities [3] [4] [5] have shown to perform better at ultralow temperature, these techniques still suffer from the fact that t...
Comment: 21 pages, PDF. See also http://vortex.tn.tudelft.nl/mensen/leok/papers/
We review experiments on single electron transport through single quantum dots in the presence of a microwave signal. In the case of a small dot with well-resolved discrete energy states, the applied high-frequency signal allows for inelastic tunnel events that involve the exchange of photons with the microwave field. These photon assisted tunneling (PAT) processes give rise to sideband resonances in addition to the main resonance. Photon absorption can also lead to tunneling via excited states instead of tunneling via the ground state of the quantum dot.
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