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Broadband thermomechanically limited sensing with an optomechanical accelerometer



Feng Zhou, Yiliang Bao, Ramgopal Madugani, David Long, Jason J. Gorman, Thomas W. LeBrun


Cavity optomechanics has enabled precision measurements with unprecedented levels of sensitivity, including the detection of attonewton forces, nanoparticles, magnetic fields, and gravitational waves. In most cases, detection is performed in a narrow frequency range around a mechanical resonance, which is not compatible with the bandwidth requirements for many real-world sensing applications. We report on a microfabricated optomechanical sensing platform based on a Fabry-Pérot microcavity and show that when operating as an accelerometer it can achieve highly ideal broadband performance at the thermodynamic limit (Brownian motion of the proof mass) with the highest sensitivity reported to date over a wide frequency range (314 nm·s-2/√Hz over 6.8 kHz). This sensing platform is directly applicable to a number of measurements from pressure and force sensing to seismology and gravimetry, and possibly even array-based searches for dark matter through gravitational force detection


optomechanics, accelerometry, micromechanics, fabry perot


Zhou, F. , Bao, Y. , Madugani, R. , Long, D. , Gorman, J. and LeBrun, T. (2021), Broadband thermomechanically limited sensing with an optomechanical accelerometer, Optica, [online],, (Accessed June 17, 2024)


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Created March 9, 2021, Updated October 12, 2021