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

Seunghwi Kim, Xunnong Xu, Jacob M. Taylor, Gaurav Bahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transport of sound and heat, in the form of phonons, can be limited by disorder-induced scattering. In electronic and optical settings the introduction of chiral transport, in which carrier propagation exhibits parity asymmetry, can remove elastic backscattering and provides robustness against disorder. However, suppression of disorder-induced scattering has never been demonstrated in non-topological phononic systems. Here we experimentally demonstrate a path for achieving robust phonon transport in the presence of material disorder, by explicitly inducing chirality through parity-selective optomechanical coupling. We show that asymmetric optical pumping of a symmetric resonator enables a dramatic chiral cooling of clockwise and counterclockwise phonons, while simultaneously suppressing the hidden action of disorder. Surprisingly, this passive mechanism is also accompanied by a chiral reduction in heat load leading to optical cooling of the mechanics without added damping, an effect that has no optical analog. This technique can potentially improve upon the fundamental thermal limits of resonant mechanical sensors, which cannot be attained through sideband cooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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