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Journal Article

Optomechanical creation of magnetic fields for photons on a lattice


Painter,  O.
Painter Research Group, Research Groups, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;


Marquardt,  F.
Marquardt Group, Associated Groups, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Schmidt, M., Kessler, S., Peano, V., Painter, O., & Marquardt, F. (2015). Optomechanical creation of magnetic fields for photons on a lattice. Optica, 2(7), 635-641. doi:10.1364/OPTICA.2.000635.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-639A-4
Recently, there has been growing interest in the creation of artificial magnetic fields for uncharged particles, such as cold atoms or photons. These efforts are partly motivated by the resulting desirable features, such as transport along edge states that is robust against backscattering. We analyze how the optomechanical interaction between photons and mechanical vibrations can be used to create artificial magnetic fields for photons on a lattice. The ingredients required are an optomechanical crystal, i. e., a free-standing photonic crystal with localized vibrational and optical modes, and two laser beams with the right pattern of phases. One of the two schemes analyzed here is based on optomechanical modulation of the links between optical modes, while the other is a lattice extension of optomechanical wavelength-conversion setups. We analyze both schemes theoretically and present numerical simulations of the resulting optical spectrum, photon transport in the presence of an artificial Lorentz force, edge states, and the photonic Aharonov Bohm effect. We discuss the requirements for experimental realizations. Finally, we analyze the completely general situation of an optomechanical system subject to an arbitrary optical phase pattern and conclude that it is best described in terms of gauge fields acting in synthetic dimensions. In contrast to existing nonoptomechanical approaches, the schemes analyzed here are very versatile, since they can be controlled fully optically, allowing for time-dependent in situ tunability without the need for individual electrical addressing of localized optical modes. (C) 2015 Optical Society of America