Theory of bifurcation amplifiers utilizing the nonlinear dynamical response of an optically damped mechanical oscillator
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPhysical Review A (PRA). 2019, 99. 10.1103/PhysRevA.99.023858
We consider a standard optomechanical system where a mechanical oscillator is coupled to a cavity mode through the radiation pressure interaction. The oscillator is coherently driven at its resonance frequency, whereas the cavity mode is driven below its resonance, providing optical damping of the mechanical oscillations. We study the nonlinear coherent response of the mechanical oscillator in this setup. For large mechanical amplitudes, we find that the system can display dynamical multistability if the optomechanical cooperativity exceeds a critical value. This analysis relates standard optomechanical damping to the dynamical attractors known from the theory of optomechanical self-sustained oscillations. We also investigate the effect of thermal and quantum noise and estimate the noise-induced switching rate between the stable states of the system. We then consider applications of this system and primarily focus on how it can be used as bifurcation amplifiers for the detection of small mechanical or optical signals. Finally, we show that in a related but more complicated setup featuring resonant optomechanical interactions, the same effects can be realized with a relaxed requirement on the size of the mechanical oscillations.