Cavity photons coupled to the drumhead motion of
a 50-nanometer-thick membrane (not a photograph).
The McGill Optomechanics & Spin Transfer Lab aims to develop a coherent interface between micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), photons, quantum defects, and (most recently) spin-transfer-driven nanoscale magnetic circuits.

MEMS are currently used in a variety of technologies ranging from accelerometers in vehicles to three-dimensional mapping of atomic nuclei in solids (~10 nm resolution). More recently, they have been proposed as a versatile platform for quantum information science. The majority of these applications are fundamentally limited by the mechanical quality factor attainable using modern elastic materials. In order to overcome this limitation, our group is currently exploring MEMS supported primarily by optical forces, thereby replacing traditional flexible materials with light. Because the behavior of photons is fundamentally different from that of atoms in elastic solids, such devices should circumvent the dissipative limitations of the best existing materials and achieve an unprecedented level of coherence -- whereas the best existing MEMS might ring for seconds when struck, optically-supported MEMS are predicted to ring coherently for weeks. Such systems would be sensitive to sub-zeptonewton forces, and should be capable of coherently shuttling quantum information between wide array of competing qubit technologies and telecom-wavelength photons.

Open Positions
  • Positions available to experimentally-inclined students with a background in physics or engineering 
  • Postdoctoral positions may be available for qualified applicants in a related field

McGill University is located in the center of downtown Montréal, a vibrant, artistic, dual-language city. McGill's primary language is English, and one can navigate the city in French or English. Given its size, the cost of living in Montréal is surprisingly low. The city has a network of bicycle paths with a bike-sharing program, and a viable mass transit system including subways, trains, buses, and spiffy little "drive-and-leave" electric cars (operated with the same proxy card). I sold my car when I arrived. It's awesome.