Autoparametric optical drive for micromechanical oscillators

M. Zalalutdinov, A. Zehnder, A. Olkhovets, S. Turner, L. Sekaric, B. Ilic, D. Czaplewski, J. M. Parpia, H. G. Craighead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


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 Qenh = 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-697
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 30 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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