Optomechanical Dirac Physics

01.01.2016, 00:00

Newsletter 9

Photonic crystals can be designed to have artificial defects, at which light gets trapped and forms an optical mode, similar to a macroscopic optical cavity. This concept can be extended to produce localized vibrational modes as well in the same piece of material, as demonstrated in recent years by various groups. The result, sometimes called an optomechanical crystal, features strong interactions between light and sound. We are building on this idea, investigating its potential for future optomechanical metamaterials, where many such optical and vibrational modes are arranged in a periodic lattice. These systems would represent a platform where photons and phonons travel on a lattice and interact with each other. This gives rise to a photon/phonon band structure whose properties are controlled in-situ by the intensity and frequency of the laser illuminating the whole sample. The figure shows the case of a honeycomb lattice, where the photon-phonon polaritons acquire the typical Dirac cone bandstructure of massless relativistic particles.

Contact: florian.marquardt(at)mpl.mpg(dot)deflorian.marquardt(at)fau(dot)de
Group: Florian Marquardt Theory Group (FAU) (associated with MPL)
Reference:  M. Schmidt et al., New Journal of Physics 17, 023025 (2015).