Generalized non-reciprocity in an optomechanical circuit via synthetic magnetism and reservoir engineering

Kejie Fang, Jie Luo, Anja Metelmann, Matthew H. Matheny, Florian Marquardt, Aashish A. Clerk, Oskar Painter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synthetic magnetism has been used to control charge neutral excitations for applications ranging from classical beam steering to quantum simulation. In optomechanics, radiation-pressure-induced parametric coupling between optical (photon) and mechanical (phonon) excitations may be used to break time-reversal symmetry, providing the prerequisite for synthetic magnetism. Here we design and fabricate a silicon optomechanical circuit with both optical and mechanical connectivity between two optomechanical cavities. Driving the two cavities with phase-correlated laser light results in a synthetic magnetic flux, which, in combination with dissipative coupling to the mechanical bath, leads to non-reciprocal transport of photons with 35 dB of isolation. Additionally, optical pumping with blue-detuned light manifests as a particle non-conserving interaction between photons and phonons, resulting in directional optical amplification of 12 dB in the isolator through-direction. These results suggest the possibility of using optomechanical circuits to create a more general class of non-reciprocal optical devices, and further, to enable new topological phases for both light and sound on a microchip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-471
Number of pages7
JournalNature Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 3 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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