Theoretical and experimental study of radiation pressure-induced mechanical oscillations (parametric instability) in optical microcavities
Radiation pressure can couple the mechanical modes of an optical cavity structure to its optical modes, leading to parametric oscillation instability. This regime is characterized by regenerative oscillation of the mechanical cavity eigenmodes. Here, we present the first observation of this effect with a detailed theoretical and experimental analysis of these oscillations in ultra-high-Q microtoroids. Embodied within a microscale, chip-based device, this mechanism can benefit both research into macroscale quantum mechanical phenomena and improve the understanding of the mechanism within the context of laser interferometer gravitational-wave observatory (LIGO). It also suggests that new technologies are possible that will leverage the phenomenon within photonics.