Article abstract


Nature Photonics 1, 416 - 422 (2007)
Published online: 2 July 2007 | doi:10.1038/nphoton.2007.96

Subject Categories: Fundamental optical physics | Novel materials and engineered structures

Actuation of micro-optomechanical systems via cavity-enhanced optical dipole forces

Matt Eichenfield1, Christopher P. Michael1, Raviv Perahia1 & Oskar Painter1


Optical forces can produce significant mechanical effects in micro- and nanophotonic systems. Here we demonstrate a novel optomechanical system using a movable, micrometre-scale waveguide evanescently coupled to a high-Q optical microresonator. Micrometre-scale displacements of the waveguide are observed for milliwatt-level optical input powers. Measurement of the spatial variation of the force on the waveguide indicates that it arises from a cavity-enhanced optical dipole force resulting from the stored optical field of the resonator. This force is used to realize an all-optical tunable filter operating with submilliwatt control power. A theoretical model of the system shows that the maximum achievable force is independent of the intrinsic Q of the optical resonator and scales inversely with the cavity mode volume, suggesting that such forces may become even more effective as devices approach the nanoscale.

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  1. Thomas J. Watson, Sr, Laboratory of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA

Correspondence to: Oskar Painter1 e-mail: opainter@caltech.edu



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