Bound states in the continuum (BICs), an emerging type of long-lived resonances different from the cavity-based ones, have been explored in several classical systems, including photonic crystals and surface acoustic waves. Here, we reveal symmetry-protected mechanical BICs in the structure of slab-on-substrate optomechanical crystals. Using a group theory approach, we identified all the mechanical BICs at the Γ point in optomechanical crystals with C 4v and C 6v symmetries as examples, and analyzed their coupling with the co-localized optical BICs and guided resonances due to both moving boundary and photo-elastic effects. We verified the theoretical analysis with numerical simulations of specific optomechanical crystals which support substantial optomechanical interactions between the mechanical BICs and optical resonances. Due to the unique features of high-Q, large-size mechanical BICs and substrate-enabled thermal dissipation, this architecture of slab-on-substrate optomechanical crystals might be useful for exploring macroscopic quantum mechanical physics and enabling new applications such as high-throughput sensing and free-space beam steering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics