Ultrasensitive Inertial and Force Sensors with Diamagnetically Levitated Magnets
Journal article, 2017

We theoretically show that a magnet can be stably levitated on top of a punctured superconductor sheet in the Meissner state without applying any external field. The trapping potential created by such induced-only superconducting currents is characterized for magnetic spheres ranging from tens of nanometers to tens of millimeters. Such a diamagnetically levitated magnet is predicted to be extremely well isolated from the environment. We propose to use it as an ultrasensitive force and inertial sensor. A magneto-mechanical readout of its displacement can be performed by using superconducting quantum interference devices. An analysis using current technology shows that force and acceleration sensitivities on the order of 10(-23) N/root Hz (for a 100-nm magnet) and 10(-14) g/root Hz (for a 10-mm magnet) might be within reach in a cryogenic environment. Such remarkable sensitivities, both in force and acceleration, can be used for a variety of purposes, from designing ultrasensitive inertial sensors for technological applications (e.g., gravimetry, avionics, and space industry), to scientific investigations on measuring Casimir forces of magnetic origin and gravitational physics.


J. Prat-Camps

Austrian Academy of Sciences

University of Innsbruck

C. Teo

Austrian Academy of Sciences

University of Innsbruck

National University of Singapore (NUS)

C. C. Rusconi

Austrian Academy of Sciences

University of Innsbruck

Witlef Wieczorek

University of Vienna

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2)

O. Romero-Isart

University of Innsbruck

Austrian Academy of Sciences

Physical Review Applied

2331-7019 (eISSN)

Vol. 8 3 034002

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