Prototype of a phonon laser with trapped ions

Chen-Yu Lee, Kuan-Ting Lin, and Guin-Dar Lin

Phys. Rev. Research 5, 023082 – Published in May 2023


We propose a tunable phonon laser prototype with a large trapped ion array, where some of the ions are effectively pinned by optical tweezers, thus isolating a subset of ions that mimics an acoustic cavity used as a phonon lasing resonator. The cavity loss can then be controlled by the tweezer strength and the “wall thickness”, the number of pinned ions for isolation. We pump the resonator by applying blue-sideband lasers, and investigate the lasing dynamics of the “cavity” motional modes such as threshold behavior, population distribution, the second-order coherence, and linewidth narrowing. This scheme can be generalized to multimode resonators, for which we report the mode competition phenomenon and lasing mode multistability. Our work provides an excellent platform for acoustic quantum state manipulation, paving the way towards phonon-mediated quantum computing, communications, and metrology.