The stochastic dynamics of a nanobeam near an optomechanical resonator in a viscous fluid

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American Institute of Physics


We quantify the Brownian driven, stochastic dynamics of an elastic nanobeam immersed in a viscous fluid that is partially wrapped around a microdisk optical resonator. This configuration has been proposed as an optomechanical and nanoscale analog of the atomic force microscope [Srinivasan et al., Nano Lett. 11, 791 ( 2011)]. A small gap between the nanobeam and microdisk is necessary for the optomechanical transduction of the mechanical motion of the nanobeam. We compute the stochastic dynamics of the nanobeam in fluid for the precise conditions of the laboratory using deterministic finite element simulations and the fluctuation dissipation theorem. We investigate the dynamics of a nanobeam in water and in air and quantify the significance of the fluid-solid interaction between the nanobeam and the optical resonator. Our results in air show that, despite the complex geometry of the nanobeam, it can still be represented approximately as a damped simple harmonic oscillator. On the other hand, when the nanobeam is immersed in water there are significant deviations from the dynamics of a simple harmonic oscillator. The small gap between the nanobeam and the microdisk is found to be a significant source of additional dissipation. In air, the quality factor of the mechanical oscillation of the nanobeam is reduced by an order of magnitude due to the presence of the microdisk, however, the dynamics remain underdamped even in the presence of the microdisk. On the other hand, when placed in water, the dynamics without the microdisk is underdamped and with the microdisk the dynamics become strongly over damped. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.



Rheology and fluid dynamics, Oscillators, Acoustic noise spectra, Elasticity, Viscosity


Epstein, S., Paul, M. R. (2013). The stochastic dynamics of a nanobeam near an optomechanical resonator in a viscous fluid. Journal of Applied Physics, 114(14). doi: 10.1063/1.4824297