Designing evanescent optical interactions to control the expression of Casimir forces in optomechanical structures

Alejandro W. Rodriguez, David Woolf, Pui Chuen Hui, Eiji Iwase, Alexander P. McCauley, Federico Capasso, Marko Loncar, Steven G. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

We propose an optomechanical structure consisting of a photonic-crystal (holey) membrane suspended above a layered silicon-on-insulator substrate in which resonant bonding/antibonding optical forces created by externally incident light from above enable all-optical control and actuation of stiction effects induced by the Casimir force. In this way, one can control how the Casimir force is expressed in the mechanical dynamics of the membrane, not by changing the Casimir force directly but by optically modifying the geometry and counteracting the mechanical spring constant to bring the system in or out of regimes where Casimir physics dominate. The same optical response (reflection spectrum) of the membrane to the incident light can be exploited to accurately measure the effects of the Casimir force on the equilibrium separation of the membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number194105
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume98
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - May 9 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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