Frontiers of Physics

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 475–490 | Cite as

Optomechanical sensing with on-chip microcavities

  • Yi-Wen Hu
  • Yun-Feng XiaoEmail author
  • Yong-Chun Liu
  • Qihuang Gong
Review Article Frontiers of Physics


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.


optical microcavities mechanical resonators cavity optomechanics optical sensing integrated photonics 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi-Wen Hu
    • 1
  • Yun-Feng Xiao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yong-Chun Liu
    • 1
  • Qihuang Gong
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Artificial Microstructure and Mesoscopic Physics, School of PhysicsPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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