We demonstrate parallel transduction of thermally driven mechanical motion of an array of gold-coated silicon nitride nanomechanical beams, by using near-field confinement in plasmonic metal-insulator-metal resonators supported in the gap between the gold layers. The free-space optical readout, enabled by the plasmonic resonances, allows for addressing multiple mechanical resonators in a single measurement. Light absorbed in the metal layer of the beams modifies their mechanical properties, allowing photothermal tuning of the eigenfrequencies. The appearance of photothermally driven parametric amplification indicates the possibility of plasmonic mechanical actuation.

ACS Photonics
Photonic Materials

Thijssen, R., Kippenberg, T., Polman, A., & Verhagen, E. (2014). Parallel transduction of nanomechanical motion using plasmonic resonators. ACS Photonics, 1(11), 1181–1188. doi:10.1021/ph500262b