Noise and dynamics in forward Brillouin interactions

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


In this paper, we explore the spatiotemporal dynamics of spontaneous and stimulated forward Brillouin scattering. This general treatment incorporates the optomechanical coupling produced by boundary-induced radiation pressures (boundary motion) and material-induced electrostrictive forces (photoelastic effects), permitting straightforward application to a range of emerging micro- and nanoscale optomechanical systems. Through a self-consistent fully coupled nonlinear treatment, developed within a general Hamiltonian framework, we establish the connection between the power spectral density of spontaneously scattered light in forward Brillouin interactions and the nonlinear coupling strength. We show that, in sharp contrast to backward Brillouin scattering, noise-initiated stimulated forward Brillouin scattering is forbidden in the majority of experimental systems. In fact, the single-pass gain, which characterizes the threshold for energy transfer in back-scattering processes, is negative for a large class of forward Brillouin devices. Beyond this frequent experimental case, we explore mechanisms for dispersive symmetry breaking that lead to amplification and dynamics reminiscent of backward Brillouin scattering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063806
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 8 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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