Autoparametric optical drive for micromechanical oscillators

Zalalutdinov, M.; Zehnder, A.; Olkhovets, A.; Turner, S.; Sekaric, L.; Ilic, B.; Czaplewski, D.; Parpia, J. M.; Craighead, H. G.
July 2001
Applied Physics Letters;7/30/2001, Vol. 79 Issue 5
Academic Journal
Self-generated vibration of a disk-shaped, single-crystal silicon micromechanical oscillator was observed when the power of a continuous wave laser, focused on the periphery of the disk exceeded a threshold of a few hundred μW. With the laser power set to just below the self-generation threshold, the quality factor for driven oscillations increases by an order of magnitude from Q=10 000 to Q[sub enh]=110 000. Laser heating-induced thermal stress modulates the effective spring constant via the motion of the disk within the interference pattern of incident and reflected laser beams and provides a mechanism for parametric amplification and self-excitation. Light sources of different wavelengths facilitate both amplification and damping. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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