Phase-noise induced limitations on cooling and coherent evolution in optomechanical systems

Peter Rabl, C. Genes, Klemens Hammerer, Markus Aspelmeyer

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


We present a detailed theoretical discussion of the effects of ubiquitous laser noise on cooling and the coherent dynamics in optomechanical systems. Phase fluctuations of the driving laser induce modulations of the linearized optomechanical coupling as well as a fluctuating force on the mirror due to variations of the mean cavity intensity. We first evaluate the influence of both effects on cavity cooling and find that for a small laser linewidth, the dominant heating mechanism arises from intensity fluctuations. The resulting limit on the final occupation number scales linearly with the cavity intensity both under weak- and strong-coupling conditions. For the strong-coupling regime, we also determine the effect of phase noise on the coherent transfer of single excitations between the cavity and the mechanical resonator and obtain a similar conclusion. Our results show that conditions for optical ground-state cooling and coherent operations are experimentally feasible and thus laser phase noise does pose a challenge but not a stringent limitation for optomechanical systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number063819
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 103026 Quantum optics
  • 210006 Nanotechnology
  • 103025 Quantum mechanics
  • 203017 Micromechanics

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