Infoscience

Journal article

High-sensitivity monitoring of micromechanical vibration using optical whispering gallery mode resonators

The inherent coupling of optical and mechanical modes in high finesse optical microresonators provides a natural, highly sensitive transduction mechanism for micromechanical vibration. Using homodyne and polarization spectroscopy techniques, we achieve shot-noise limited displacement sensitivities of 10(-19) mHz(-1/2). In an unprecedented manner, this enables the detection and study of a variety of mechanical modes, which are identified as radial breathing, flexural and torsional modes using three-dimensional finite element modeling. Furthermore, a broadband equivalent displacement noise is measured and found to agree well with models for thermorefractive noise in silica dielectric cavities. Implications for ground-state cooling, displacement sensing and Kerr squeezing are discussed.

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