Dynamically induced robust phonon transport and chiral cooling in an optomechanical system

TitleDynamically induced robust phonon transport and chiral cooling in an optomechanical system
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKim, S, Xu, X, Taylor, JM, Bahl, G
JournalNature Communications
Date Published2017/06/19

The transport of sound and heat, in the form of phonons, has a fundamental material limit: disorder-induced scattering. In electronic and optical settings, introduction of chiral transport - in which carrier propagation exhibits broken parity symmetry - provides robustness against such disorder by preventing elastic backscattering. Here we experimentally demonstrate a path for achieving robust phonon transport even in the presence of material disorder, by dynamically inducing chirality through traveling-wave optomechanical coupling. Using this approach, we demonstrate dramatic optically-induced chiral transport for clockwise and counterclockwise phonons in a symmetric resonator. This induced chirality also enhances isolation from the thermal bath and leads to gain-free reduction of the intrinsic damping of the phonons. Surprisingly, this passive mechanism is also accompanied by a chiral reduction in heat load leading to a novel optical cooling of the mechanics. This technique has the potential to improve upon the fundamental thermal limits of resonant mechanical sensor, which cannot be otherwise attained through conventional optomechanical cooling.