Article abstract

Nature Photonics 1, 658 - 665 (2007)
Published online: 1 November 2007 | doi:10.1038/nphoton.2007.203

Subject Category: Fundamental optical physics

Trapping, corralling and spectral bonding of optical resonances through optically induced potentials

Peter T. Rakich1, Milos caron A. Popovic acute1, Marin Soljac caronic acute1 & Erich P. Ippen1

Optical forces resulting from interacting modes and cavities can scale to remarkably large values as the optical modes shrink to nanometre dimensions. Such forces can be harnessed in fundamentally new ways when optical elements can freely adapt to them. Here, we propose the use of optomechanically coupled resonators as a general means of tailoring optomechanical potentials through the action of optical forces. We show that significant attractive and repulsive forces arising from optomechanically coupled cavity resonances can give rise to strong and highly localized optomechanical potential wells whose widths can approach picometre scales. These potentials enable unique all-optical self-adaptive behaviours, such as the trapping and corralling (or dynamic capture) of microcavity resonances with light. It is shown, for example, that a resonator can be designed to dynamically self-align (or spectrally bond) its resonance to an incident laser line. Although these concepts are illustrated through dual-microring cavity designs, broad extension to other photonic topologies can be made.

  1. Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA

Correspondence to: Peter T. Rakich1 e-mail:


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