Nanomechanical design strategy for single-mode optomechanical measurement

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Reference G.R. La Gala, J.P. Mathew, P. Neveu and E. Verhagen, Nanomechanical design strategy for single-mode optomechanical measurement, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 55, (22) (2022)
Group Photonic Forces

The motion of a mechanical resonator is intrinsically decomposed over a collection of normal modes of vibration. When the resonator is used as a sensor, its multimode nature often deteriorates or limits its performance and sensitivity. This challenge is frequently encountered in state-of-the-art optomechanical sensing platforms. We present a mechanical design strategy that ensures that optomechanical measurements can retrieve information on a single mechanical degree of freedom, and implement it in a sliced photonic crystal nanobeam resonator. A spectral design approach is used to make mechanical symmetries robust against practical disorder. The effectiveness of the method is evaluated by deriving a relevant figure of merit for continuous and pulsed measurement application scenarios. The method can be employed in any mechanical design that presents unwanted spurious mechanical modes. In the nanobeam platform, we experimentally show an increase of the signal to noise ratio of the mode of interest over the first spurious mode by four orders of magnitudes.