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Coherent coupling between radiofrequency, optical and acoustic waves in piezo-optomechanical circuits


Optomechanical cavities have been studied for applications ranging from sensing to quantum information science. Here, we develop a platform for nanoscale cavity optomechanical circuits in which optomechanical cavities supporting co-localized 1,550 nm photons and 2.4 GHz phonons are combined with photonic and phononic waveguides. Working in GaAs facilitates manipulation of the localized mechanical mode either with a radiofrequency field through the piezo-electric effect, which produces acoustic waves that are routed and coupled to the optomechanical cavity by phononic-crystal waveguides, or optically through the strong photoelastic effect. Together with mechanical state preparation and sensitive readout, we use this to demonstrate an acoustic wave interference effect, similar to atomic coherent population trapping, in which radiofrequency-driven coherent mechanical motion is cancelled by optically driven motion. Manipulating cavity optomechanical systems with equal facility through both photonic and phononic channels enables new architectures for signal transduction between the optical, electrical and mechanical domains.

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Figure 1: Piezo-optomechanical circuits.
Figure 2: Coupling between propagating and localized phononic modes.
Figure 3: Acousto-optic modulation and coherent phonon detection.
Figure 4: Acoustic wave interference.


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K.C.B. acknowledges support under the Cooperative Research Agreement between the University of Maryland and NIST-CNST (award no. 70NANB10H193). J.D.S. acknowledges support from the KIST flagship institutional programme. The authors thank D. Rutter and A. Band for help with microwave electronics. This work was partially supported by the DARPA MESO programme.

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K.C.B. led the design, fabrication and measurement of the devices, with assistance from M.D. and K.S. J.D.S. grew the epitaxial material and K.C.B. and K.S. analysed the data and wrote the manuscript, with input from all authors. K.S. supervised the project.

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Correspondence to Krishna C. Balram or Kartik Srinivasan.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Balram, K., Davanço, M., Song, J. et al. Coherent coupling between radiofrequency, optical and acoustic waves in piezo-optomechanical circuits. Nature Photon 10, 346–352 (2016).

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