21 May 2015 Low loss optomechanical cavities based on silicon oscillator
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In an optomechanical cavity the optical and mechanical degree of freedom are strongly coupled by the radiation pressure of the light. This field of research has been gathering a lot of momentum during the last couple of years, driven by the technological advances in microfabrication and the first observation of quantum phenomena. These results open new perspectives in a wide range of applications, including high sensitivity measurements of position, acceleration, force, mass, and for fundamental research. We are working on low frequency pondero-motive light squeezing as a tool for improving the sensitivity of audio frequency measuring devices such as magnetic resonance force microscopes and gravitational-wave detectors. It is well known that experiments aiming to produce and manipulate non-classical (squeezed) light by effect of optomechanical interaction need a mechanical oscillator with low optical and mechanical losses. These technological requirements permit to maximize the force per incoming photon exerted by the cavity field on the mechanical element and to improve the element’s response to the radiation pressure force and, at the same time, to decrease the influence of the thermal bath. In this contribution we describe a class of mechanical devices for which we measured a mechanical quality factor up to 1.2 × 106 and with which it was possible to build a Fabry-Perot cavity with optical finesse up to 9 × 104. From our estimations, these characteristics meet the requirements for the generation of radiation squeezing and quantum correlations in the 100kHz region. Moreover our devices are characterized by high reproducibility to allow inclusion in integrated systems. We show the results of the characterization realized with a Michelson interferometer down to 4.2K and measurements in optical cavities performed at cryogenic temperature with input optical powers up to a few mW. We also report on the dynamical stability and the thermal response of the system.
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A. Borrielli, A. Pontin, F. S. Cataliotti, L. Marconi, F. Marin, F. Marino, G. Pandraud, G. A. Prodi, E. Serra, M. Bonaldi, "Low loss optomechanical cavities based on silicon oscillator", Proc. SPIE 9517, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VII; and Cyber Physical Systems, 95171O (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2178821; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2178821

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