Friday, 20 June, 2008
Doppler optomechanics of a photonic crystal
K. Karrai, I. Favero, C. Metzger -
Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 240801 (2008)
A laser beam directed at a mirror attached onto a flexible mount adds friction to its mechanical motion by the Doppler effect. For a normal mirror the efficiency of this radiative Doppler friction is very weak and practically masked by laser shot noise. We find that it can become very efficient using a photonic crystal mirror near its photonic band gaps. As an example, a Bragg mirror used at the long wavelength edge of its band stop can be efficiently optically cooled using the Doppler friction. The opposite effect opens new routes for optical pumping of mechanical systems: a laser pointing at a Bragg mirror and tuned at its short wavelength edge induces amplification of the vibrational excitation of the mirror leading eventually to its self-oscillation. These new effects rely on the strong dependency of a photonic crystal reflectivity on the wavelength.