, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 475-490
Date: 05 Oct 2013

Optomechanical sensing with on-chip microcavities

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The coupling between optical and mechanical degrees of freedom has been of broad interest for a long time. However, it is only until recently, with the rapid development of optical microcavity research, that we are able to manipulate and utilize this coupling process. When a high Q microcavity couples to a mechanical resonator, they can consolidate into an optomechanical system. Benefitting from the unique characteristics offered by optomechanical coupling, this hybrid system has become a promising platform for ultrasensitive sensors to detect displacement, mass, force and acceleration. In this review, we introduce the basic physical concepts of cavity optomechanics, and describe some of the most typical experimental cavity optomechanical systems for sensing applications. Finally, we discuss the noise arising from various sources and show the potentiality of optomechanical sensing towards quantum-noise-limited detection.