Hexagonal Boron Nitride Cavity Optomechanics

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nano Letters, 2019
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Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society. Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is an emerging layered material that plays a key role in a variety of two-dimensional devices, and has potential applications in nanophotonics and nanomechanics. Here, we demonstrate the first cavity optomechanical system incorporating hBN. Nanomechanical resonators consisting of hBN beams with average dimensions of 12 μm × 1.2 μm × 28 nm and minimum predicted thickness of 8 nm were fabricated using electron beam induced etching and positioned in the optical near-field of silicon microdisk cavities. Of the multiple devices studied here a maximum 0.16 pm/Hz sensitivity to the hBN nanobeam motion is demonstrated, allowing observation of thermally driven mechanical resonances with frequencies between 1 and 23 MHz, and largest mechanical quality factor of 1100 for a 23 MHz mode, at room temperature in high vacuum. In addition, the role of air damping is studied via pressure dependent measurements. Our results constitute an important step toward realizing integrated optomechanical circuits employing hBN.
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