Measurement of wavelength-dependent radiation pressure from photon reflection and absorption due to thin film interference

Measurement of wavelength-dependent radiation pressure from photon reflection and absorption due to thin film interference

Year:2018
Author(s):Dakang Ma and Jeremy N. Munday
Citation(s):Scientific Reports, 8, 15930 (2018)

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Abstract: Opto-mechanical forces result from the momentum transfer that occurs during light-matter interactions. One of the most common examples of this phenomenon is the radiation pressure that is exerted on a reflective surface upon photon reflection. For an ideal mirror, the radiation pressure is independent of the wavelength of light and depends only on the incident power. Here we consider a different regime where, for a constant input optical power, wavelength-dependent radiation pressure is observed due to coherent thin film Fabry-Perot interference effects. We perform measurements using a Si microcantilever and utilize an in-situ optical transmission technique to determine the local thickness of the cantilever and the light beam’s angle of incidence. Although Si is absorptive in the visible part of the spectrum, by exploiting the Fabry-Perot modes of the cantilever, we can determine whether momentum is transferred via reflection or absorption by tuning the incident wavelength by only ~20 nm. Finally, we demonstrate that the tunable wavelength excitation measurement can be used to separate photothermal effects and radiation pressure.