Article abstract

Nature Photonics 4, 236 - 242 (2010)
Published online: 7 February 2010 | doi:10.1038/nphoton.2010.5

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

Coherent mixing of mechanical excitations in nano-optomechanical structures

Qiang Lin1, Jessie Rosenberg1, Darrick Chang1, Ryan Camacho1, Matt Eichenfield1, Kerry J. Vahala1 & Oskar Painter1

The combination of the large per-photon optical force and small motional mass achievable in nanocavity optomechanical systems results in strong dynamical back-action between mechanical motion and the cavity light field. In this Article, we study the optical control of mechanical motion within two different nanocavity structures, a zipper nanobeam photonic crystal cavity and a double-microdisk whispering-gallery resonator. The strong optical gradient force within these cavities is shown to introduce significant optical rigidity into the structure, with the dressed mechanical states renormalized into optically bright and optically dark modes of motion. With the addition of internal mechanical coupling between mechanical modes, a form of optically controlled mechanical transparency is demonstrated in analogy to electromagnetically induced transparency of three-level atomic media. Based upon these measurements, a proposal for coherently transferring radio-frequency/microwave signals between the optical field and a long-lived dark mechanical state is described.

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

Correspondence to: Oskar Painter1 e-mail: