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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 May 20;106(20):203902. Epub 2011 May 17.

Optomechanical coupling in a two-dimensional photonic crystal defect cavity.

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Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Periodically structured materials can sustain both optical and mechanical modes. Here we investigate and observe experimentally the optomechanical properties of a conventional two-dimensional suspended photonic crystal defect cavity with a mode volume of ~3(λ/n)³. Two families of mechanical modes are observed: flexural modes, associated to the motion of the whole suspended membrane, and localized modes with frequencies in the GHz regime corresponding to localized phonons in the optical defect cavity of diffraction-limited size. We demonstrate direct measurements of the optomechanical vacuum coupling rate using a frequency calibration technique. The highest measured values exceed 80 kHz, demonstrating high coupling of optical and mechanical modes in such structures.

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