Coupling between mechanical and optical degrees of freedom is strongly enhanced by using subwavelength optical mode profiles. We realize an optomechanical system based on a sliced photonic crystal nanobeam, which combines such highly confined optical fields with a low-mass mechanical mode. Analyzing the transduction of motion and effects of radiation pressure we find the system exhibits a photon-phonon coupling rate g0 /2π ≈ 11.5 MHz, exceeding previously reported values by an order of magnitude. We show that the large optomechanical interaction enables detecting thermal motion with detection noise below that at the standard quantum limit, even in broad bandwidth devices, important for both sensor applications as well as measurement-based quantum control.

B. Ehrler (Bruno)
Sci. Rep.
Photonic Forces

Leijssen, R, & Verhagen, E. (2015). Strong optomechanical interactions in a sliced photonic crystal nanobeam. Sci. Rep., 5(Article number: 15974), 1–10. doi:10.1038/srep15974