Optomechanics exploits the interaction between photons and mechanical objects. Fundamentally, optomechanics could allow one to observe quantum mechanical behaviors on a macroscopic object and to exploit such quantum behaviors for quantum information processing. Technologically, it may lead to a new paradigm for ultrasensitive sensors, precise actuators and non-linear dynamical systems. Our group is interested in developing integrated optomechanical devices for both classical and quantum applications.

Controlling mechanical structure with optical forces

Optical forces, which are usually too small to move a mechanical object, can induce significant mechanical displacements by using resonant micro-optomechanical devices. We show a static deformation of up to 20 nanometers using 3 milliwatt of optical power in a silicon nitride optomechanical cavity. Controlling mechanical structures with optical forces could enable nanodevices with novel and distinct photonic and mechanical functionalities.