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Published March 2, 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Optical and mechanical design of a "zipper" photonic crystal optomechanical cavity


Design of a doubly-clamped beam structure capable of localizing mechanical and optical energy at the nanoscale is presented. The optical design is based upon photonic crystal concepts in which patterning of a nanoscale-cross-section beam can result in strong optical localization to an effective optical mode volume of 0.2 cubic wavelengths ((λc)^3). By placing two identical nanobeams within the near field of each other, strong optomechanical coupling can be realized for differential motion between the beams. Current designs for thin film silicon nitride beams at a wavelength of λ = 1.5 μm indicate that such structures can simultaneously realize an optical Q-factor of 7×10^6, motional mass mu ~ 40 picograms, mechanical mode frequency ΩM/2π ~ 170 MHz, and an optomechanical coupling factor (gOM ≡ dω_c/dx = ω_c/LOM) with effective length LOM ~ λ = 1.5 μm.

Additional Information

© 2009 Optical Society of America. Received 5 Jan 2009; revised 25 Feb 2009; accepted 25 Feb 2009; published 26 Feb 2009. The authors would like to thank Qiang Lin for extensive discussions regarding the calculation of motional mass and optomechanical coupling. The authors would also like to thank Patrick Herring for some of the initial ideas regarding gradient force optomechanical structures. This work was supported by a DARPA seed grant, managed by Prof. Henryk Temkin, and a NSF EMT grant.

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