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Applications of Micro/Nanoscale Optical Resonators: Plasmonic Photodetectors and Double-Disk Cavity Optomechanics


Rosenberg, Jessie C. (2010) Applications of Micro/Nanoscale Optical Resonators: Plasmonic Photodetectors and Double-Disk Cavity Optomechanics. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/GA8B-F134.


Optical resonators present the potential to serve vital purposes in many emergent technologies that require spectral filtering, high optical intensities, or optical delays. By scaling down the optical resonators to the micro or nanoscale, the relevant phenomena can increase significantly in magnitude, while the device geometries become suitable for chip-scale and integrated processing. In this thesis, research is presented on several valuable resonator geometries and implementations, beginning with a more standard all-optical design, and continuing on to investigate the novel phenomena and applications which are made possible when optical and mechanical structures can be synergistically combined.

First, the design and experimental implementation of a plasmonic photonic crystal spectral and polarization filtering element is presented. This resonator scheme, in addition to allowing for a tailorable frequency and polarization response for single detector pixels, also increases the absorption of a thin layer of detector material by utilizing the unique optical properties of metal to confine light more tightly within the detector active region. Demonstrated in the valuable mid-infrared regime, this method of producing pixel-integrated multispectral detectors could find application in biological sensing and spectroscopy, missile tracking and guidance, and night vision.

Following this discussion, progress is presented in the relatively new field of cavity optomechanics: utilizing mechanically compliant optical resonators to couple to, control, and read out mechanical motion via optical forces. The use of optical resonators allows the generally weak optical forces to be increased in strength by orders of magnitude due to the many passes light makes within the resonator, while miniaturizing optomechanical devices into a convenient form factor for on-chip applications. Using a fully silicon-compatible double-disk-geometry optomechanical resonator, extremely large optomechanical coupling and very high optical quality factors are shown, enabling the demonstration of regenerative mechanical amplification, high compression factor optomechanical cooling, coherent mechanical mode mixing, and wide-bandwidth all-optical wavelength routing. Applications to ground-state cooling of mesoscopic devices, tunable optical buffering, photonic-phononic quantum state transfer, channel routing/switching, pulse trapping/release, and tunable lasing are discussed.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:optomechanics; plasmonics; optical resonators; detectors; microcavities; photonics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Painter, Oskar J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Vahala, Kerry J. (chair)
  • Schwab, Keith C.
  • Libbrecht, Kenneth George
  • Painter, Oskar J.
Defense Date:8 December 2009
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03072010-230109724
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5581
Deposited By: Jessie Rosenberg
Deposited On:22 Mar 2010 18:55
Last Modified:08 Nov 2019 18:08

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