Defense Event

Brillouin Optomechanics

Matthew R. Tomes

Monday, June 24, 2013
12:00pm - 2:00pm
3316 EECS

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About the Event

Optical resonators are the basis of any experiment where it is desirable to confine light. The most basic optical resonator, a Fabry-Perot etalon, can be as simple as a colorful layer of oil over water, or as complicated as the parallel mirrors in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. For many experiments it is important to maximize the intensity of the light confined in the resonator. Intensity is related to the circulating power over the mode area. Whispering gallery resonators can be ideal as they offer quality factors over 100 billion and can confine light to a transverse mode area smaller than a wavelength squared. Intensities that would otherwise require pulsed lasers in free space can be achieved in whispering gallery resonators. Using a silica microsphere WGRs, we demonstrate a new family of optomechanics based on Brillouin scattering. We show that stimulated Brillouin scattering can be used as an optomechanical actuation mechanism for high frequency (11 GHz) acoustical vibrations. Owing to ultrahigh optical and mechanical quality factors, we are able to excite mechanical vibrations in Silica whispering gallery resonators at microwatt input powers which allowed for the first time access to mechanical WGM in microresonators.

Additional Information


Sponsor(s): Tal Carmon

Open to: Limited