Optomechanical crystals (also referred to as photonic–phononic crystals or phoxonic crystals) exploit the simultaneous photonic and phononic bandgaps in periodic nanostructures. They have been utilized to colocalize, couple, and transduce optical and mechanical (acoustic) waves for nonlinear interactions and precision measurements. Devices that involve standing or traveling acoustic waves of high frequencies usually have advantages in many applications. Here, we review recent progress in nano-optomechanical devices where the acoustic wave oscillates at microwave frequencies. We focus on our development of an optomechanical crystal cavity and a phoxonic crystal waveguide with special features. The development of near-infrared optomechanical crystal cavities has reached a bottleneck in reducing the mechanical modal mass. This is because the reduction of the spatial overlap between the optical and mechanical modes results in a reduced optomechanical coupling rate. With a novel optimization strategy, we have successfully designed an optomechanical crystal cavity in gallium nitride with the optical mode at the wavelength of 393.03 nm, the mechanical mode at 14.97 GHz, the mechanical modal mass of 22.83 fg, and the optomechanical coupling rate of 1.26 MHz. Stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) has been widely exploited for applications of optical communication, sensing, and signal processing. A recent challenge of its implementation in silicon waveguides is the weak per-unit-length SBS gain. Taking advantage of the strong optomechanical interaction, we have successfully engineered a phoxonic crystal waveguide structure, where the SBS gain coefficient is greater than 3×104 W−1 m−1 in the entire C band with the highest value beyond 106W−1 m−1, which is at least an order of magnitude higher than the existing demonstrations.
Zejie Yu, Wen Zhou, Hon Ki Tsang, and Xiankai Sun, "Recent progress in nano-optomechanical devices at microwave frequencies," Proc. SPIE 10536, Smart Photonic and Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits XX, 105361F (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 01, 2018; Published: 22 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2289627.
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