Phase-noise induced limitations on resolved-sideband cavity cooling of mechanical resonators

Author(s): P. Rabl, C. Genes, K. Hammerer, M. Aspelmeyer

Journal: Phys. Rev. A

Volume: 80

Page(s): 063819

Year: 2009

DOI Number: 10.1103/PhysRevA.80.063819

Link: Link to publication


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.

Aspelmeyer Group Aspelmeyer Group , Rabl Group