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New Journal of Physics


We present an analysis of the dynamics of a nanomechanical resonator coupled to a superconducting single-electron transistor (SSET) in the vicinity of Josephson quasi-particle (JQP) and double Josephson quasi-particle (DJQP) resonances. For weak coupling and wide separation of dynamical timescales, we find that for either superconducting resonances the dynamics of the resonator are given by a Fokker–Planck equation, i.e. the SSET behaves effectively as an equilibrium heat bath, characterized by an effective temperature, which also damps the resonator and renormalizes its frequency. Depending on the gate and drain–source voltage bias points with respect to the superconducting resonance, the SSET can also give rise to an instability in the mechanical resonator marked by negative damping and temperature within the appropriate Fokker–Planck equation. Furthermore, sufficiently close to a resonance, we find that the Fokker–Planck description breaks down. We also point out that there is a close analogy between coupling of a nanomechanical resonator to an SSET in the vicinity of the JQP resonance and Doppler cooling of atoms by means of lasers.