Optomechanics

Optomechanics is the use of laser light to control the motion of mechanical vibrations, usually micrometre- or nanometre-scale resonators. As well as probing micromechanical motion, light can also remove energy from the system. In this way, an oscillator can reach the quantum limit with just one quantum of vibration energy, or phonon.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    An electromechanical transducer that integrates a high-frequency phononic crystal with a superconducting microwave circuit enables transduction of hypersonic mechanical motion at the quantum level.

    • Mahmoud Kalaee
    • , Mohammad Mirhosseini
    • , Paul B. Dieterle
    • , Matilda Peruzzo
    • , Johannes M. Fink
    •  & Oskar Painter
  • Research |

    The thermal vibrations of a carbon nanotube are directly measured in real time with high displacement sensitivity and fine time resolution, revealing dynamics undetected by previous time-averaged measurements.

    • Arthur W. Barnard
    • , Mian Zhang
    • , Gustavo S. Wiederhecker
    • , Michal Lipson
    •  & Paul L. McEuen
    Nature 566, 89-93
  • Research | | open

    With the wide adoption of ultrasound methods in biomedical and technological diagnostics, sensitive probes are in demand. Here, the authors employ cavity optomechanics where optical and mechanical resonances are coupled, both enhancing the sensitivity of the device and allowing its chip-integration.

    • Sahar Basiri-Esfahani
    • , Ardalan Armin
    • , Stefan Forstner
    •  & Warwick P. Bowen
  • Research | | open

    Precise gravimetric measurements are an important but challenging task. Here, Qvarfort et al. theoretically show that, in an optomechanical cavity, only the phase of the optical output needs to be measured to obtain a precise value for the gravitational acceleration with high sensitivity.

    • Sofia Qvarfort
    • , Alessio Serafini
    • , P. F. Barker
    •  & Sougato Bose

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    A nanoelectromechanical system made from a nanobeam embedded in a phononic crystal and coupled to a pair of superconducting microwave oscillators can couple hypersonic sound quanta at 0.425 GHz and light quanta with high coherence.

    • Guido Burkard
  • News and Views |

    Spin-dependent lateral optical forces, 100,000 times larger than those reported so far, can lead to displacements of centimetre-sized objects observable by the naked eye.

    • Jorge Olmos-Trigo
    •  & Juan José Sáenz
    Nature Photonics 12, 444-445
  • News and Views |

    Light can be coupled to sound via Brillouin scattering, but realizing an efficient interaction isn’t trivial. A new type of resonator succeeds in doing so in a macroscopic device — boasting features that better its nanoscale counterparts.

    • Jeremy Bourhill
    •  & Michael E. Tobar
    Nature Physics 14, 531-532