Cooling of Nanomechanical Resonators by Thermally Activated Single-Electron Transport
Journal article, 2011
We show that the vibrations of a nanomechanical resonator can be cooled to near its quantum ground state by tunneling injection of electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope tip. The interplay between two mechanisms for coupling the electronic and mechanical degrees of freedom results in a bias-voltage-dependent difference between the probability amplitudes for vibron emission and absorption during tunneling. For a bias voltage just below the Coulomb blockade threshold, we find that absorption dominates, which leads to cooling corresponding to an average vibron population of the fundamental bending mode of 0.2.