Thermo-optomechanical oscillator for sensing applications.

Optics express

PubMedID: 23481997

Deng Y, Liu F, Leseman ZC, Hossein-Zadeh M. Thermo-optomechanical oscillator for sensing applications. Opt Express. 2013;21(4):4653-64.
We demonstrate and characterize a thermo-optomechanical oscillator based on a PMMA-coated silica microtoroid and employ it as a sensor. The observed thermo-optomechanical oscillation has a unique waveform that consists of fast and slow oscillation periods. A model based on thermal and optical dynamics of the cavity is used to describe the bi-frequency oscillation and experiments are conducted to validate the theoretical model in order to explore the origin of the two oscillatory phenomena. As opposed to previously shown hybrid toroidal microcavities, the excessive PMMA coating boosts the thermo-mechanical (expansion) effect that results in bi-frequency oscillation when coupled with the thermo-optical effect. The influences of the input power, quality factor, and wavelength detuning on oscillation frequencies are studied experimentally and verified theoretically. Finally the application of this oscillator as a sensor is explored by demonstrating the sensitivity of oscillation frequency to humidity changes.