Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Mode competition and anomalous cooling in a multimode phonon laser



Utku Kemiktarak, Michael Metcalfe, Mathieu Durand, John R. Lawall


We study mode competition in a multimode “phonon laser” comprised of a Fabry-Perot cavity employing a highly reflective membrane as the output coupler. Mechanical gain is provided by driving the cavity with a blue-detuned pump laser, and many mechanical modes are coupled to the intracavity radiation pressure. We calculate the gain for arbitrary oscillation amplitude, and find, just as in a homogeneously broadened conventional laser, that strong oscillation in one mode suppresses the gain in other modes. For sufficiently strong oscillation, we calculate that the gain of the other modes actually switches sign and becomes damping, a process we call “anomalous cooling.” We demonstrate mode competition in the time domain and find excellent agreement with the predictions of our theory, including anomalous cooling.
Physical Review Letters


Opto-mechanics, Coupled oscillators, Laser Oscillations


Kemiktarak, U. , Metcalfe, M. , Durand, M. and Lawall, J. (2014), Mode competition and anomalous cooling in a multimode phonon laser, Physical Review Letters, [online], (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created July 15, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018