Imaging-based cavity optomechanics

Christian M. Pluchar, Aman R. Agrawal, Dalziel J. Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cavity optomechanics has led to advances in quantum sensing, optical manipulation of mechanical systems, and macroscopic quantum physics. However, previous studies have typically focused on cavity optomechanical coupling to translational degrees of freedom, such as the drum mode of a membrane, which modifies the amplitude and phase of the light field. Here, we discuss recent advances in “imaging-based” cavity optomechanics – where information about the mechanical resonator’s motion is imprinted onto the spatial mode of the optical field. Torsion modes are naturally measured with this coupling and are interesting for applications such as precision torque sensing, tests of gravity, and measurements of angular displacement at and beyond the standard quantum limit. In our experiment, the high-Q torsion mode of a Si3N4 nanoribbon modulates the spatial mode of an optical cavity with degenerate transverse modes. We demonstrate an enhancement of angular sensitivity read out with a split photodetector, and differentiate the “spatial” optomechanical coupling found in our system from traditional dispersive coupling. We discuss the potential for imaging-based quantum optomechanics experiments, including pondermotive squeezing and quantum back-action evasion in an angular displacement measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XX
EditorsKishan Dholakia, Gabriel C. Spalding
ISBN (Electronic)9781510665125
StatePublished - 2023
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XX 2023 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 20 2023Aug 24 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XX 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • cavity optomechanics
  • nanomechanics
  • optical lever
  • quantum imaging
  • quantum optomechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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