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Journal Article

Dispersive optomechanics: a membrane inside a cavity

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Jayich, A. M., Sankey, J. C., Zwickl, B. M., Yang, C., Thompson, J. D., Girvin, S. M., et al. (2008). Dispersive optomechanics: a membrane inside a cavity. New Journal of Physics, 10: 095008. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/10/9/095008.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-D8B2-2
We present the results of theoretical and experimental studies of dispersively coupled (or 'membrane in the middle') optomechanical systems. We calculate the linear optical properties of a high finesse cavity containing a thin dielectric membrane. We focus on the cavity's transmission, reflection and finesse as a function of the membrane's position along the cavity axis and as a function of its optical loss. We compare these calculations with measurements and find excellent agreement in cavities with empty-cavity finesses in the range 10(4)-10(5). The imaginary part of the membrane's index of refraction is found to be similar to 10(-4). We calculate the laser cooling performance of this system, with a particular focus on the less-intuitive regime in which photons 'tunnel' through the membrane on a timescale comparable to the membrane's period of oscillation. Lastly, we present calculations of quantum non-demolition measurements of the membrane's phonon number in the low signal-to-noise regime where the phonon lifetime is comparable to the QND readout time.