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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

PI: Mo Li

Nano-Optomechanical Resonators for Optical RF/Microwave Signal Processing

Nano-optomechanical systems (NOMS) are a fusion of photonic and mechanical devices by exploiting the significant optical forces of nanoscale photonic devices. NOMS resonators and oscillators provide direct links between signals in electrical and optical domains. Through optically excited nanomechanical motion, radio-frequency signals can be processed directly in optical channels, which avoids the need for conventional bulky and power-hungry components for electro-optical conversion. NOMS devices are expected to be among the essential components in the next generation of on-chip and off-chip photonic interconnection technology for computing and communication.

This project develops NOMS resonators and oscillators at radio and microwave frequencies. The mechanical mode profile of the vibrating device optimally overlaps with the field distribution of optical resonance mode, thus generating strong coupling and exceptional dynamic range for signal processing. The mode design and engineering involves multi-scale numerical simulation of both the mechanics and electromagnetics, and thus needs high-performance computation facilities. The finite element method (COMSOL package) is employed to determine the mechanical modes and optical modes of the same device. The researchers us finite-difference time-domain to predict the propagation of optical modes. Once the design is verified by simulation, the devices will be fabricated at the University of Minnesota Nanofabrication Center.

Group Members

Yu Chen, Graduate Student
Huan Li, Graduate Student