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Published January 1, 2006 | public
Journal Article Open

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.

Additional Information

© Copyright 2006 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Manuscript received November 17, 2005; revised November 21, 2005. [Posted online: 2006-02-06] This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Center for the Physics of Information.


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