Bulk crystalline optomechanics

W. H. Renninger, P. Kharel, R. O. Behunin, P. T. Rakich

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Control of long-lived, high-frequency phonons using light offers a path towards creating robust quantum links, and could lead to tools for precision metrology with applications to quantum information processing. Optomechanical systems based on bulk acoustic-wave resonators are well suited for this goal in light of their high quality factors, and because they do not suffer from surface interactions as much as their microscale counterparts. However, so far these phonons have been accessible only electromechanically, using piezoelectric interactions. Here, we demonstrate customizable optomechanical coupling to macroscopic phonon modes of a bulk acoustic-wave resonator at cryogenic temperatures. These phonon modes, which are formed by shaping the surfaces of a crystal into a plano-convex phononic resonator, yield appreciable optomechanical coupling rates, providing access to high acoustic quality factors (4.2 × 10 7 ) at high phonon frequencies (13 GHz). This simple approach, which uses bulk properties rather than nanostructural control, is appealing for the ability to engineer optomechanical systems at high frequencies that are robust against thermal decoherence. Moreover, we show that this optomechanical system yields a unique form of dispersive symmetry-breaking that enables phonon heating or cooling without an optical cavity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-607
Number of pages7
JournalNature Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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