Ultimate quantum bounds on mass measurements with a nano-mechanical resonator
Université de Toulouse, UPS, Laboratoire de Physique Théorique (IRSAMC) - F-31062 Toulouse, France, EU
2 CNRS, LPT (IRSAMC) - F-31062 Toulouse, France, EU
Accepted: 10 May 2011
I establish the fundamental lower bound on the mass that can be measured with a nano-mechanical resonator in a given quantum state based on the fundamental quantum Cramér-Rao bound, and identify the quantum states which will allow the largest sensitivity for a given maximum energy. I show that with existing carbon nanotube resonators it should be possible in principle to measure a thousandth of the mass of an electron, and future improvements might allow to reach a regime where one can measure the relativistic change of mass due to absorption of a single photon, or the creation of a chemical bond.
PACS: 85.85.+j – Micro- and nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) and devices / 07.75.+h – Mass spectrometers / 03.67.-a – Quantum information
© EPLA, 2011