The nonlinear component of the optomechanical interaction between light and mechanical vibration promises many exciting classical and quantum mechanical applications, but is generally weak. Here we demonstrate enhancement of nonlinear optomechanical measurement of mechanical motion by using pairs of coupled optical and mechanical modes in a photonic crystal device. In the same device we show linear optomechanical measurement with a strongly reduced input power and reveal how both enhancements are related. Our design exploits anisotropic mechanical elasticity to create strong coupling between mechanical modes while not changing optical properties. Additional thermo-optic tuning of the optical modes is performed with an auxiliary laser and a thermally-optimised device design. We envision broad use of this enhancement scheme in multimode phonon lasing, two-phonon heralding and eventually nonlinear quantum optomechanics.

NWO VIDI , European Research Council (ERC)
Nature Commun.
Photonic Forces

Burgwal, R, & Verhagen, E. (2023). Enhanced nonlinear optomechanics in a coupled-mode photonic crystal device. Nature Commun., 14(1), 1526: 1–1526:12. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-37138-z