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Science. 2012 Dec 21;338(6114):1609-13. doi: 10.1126/science.1228370. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Optomechanical dark mode.

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Department of Physics and Oregon Center for Optics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.


Thermal mechanical motion hinders the use of a mechanical system in applications such as quantum information processing. Whereas the thermal motion can be overcome by cooling a mechanical oscillator to its motional ground state, an alternative approach is to exploit the use of a mechanically dark mode that can protect the system from mechanical dissipation. We have realized such a dark mode by coupling two optical modes in a silica resonator to one of its mechanical breathing modes in the regime of weak optomechanical coupling. The dark mode, which is a superposition of the two optical modes and is decoupled from the mechanical oscillator, can still mediate an effective optomechanical coupling between the two optical modes. We show that the formation of the dark mode enables the transfer of optical fields between the two optical modes. Optomechanical dark mode opens the possibility of using mechanically mediated coupling in quantum applications without cooling the mechanical oscillator to its motional ground state.

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