OSA's Digital Library

Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 35, Iss. 11 — Jun. 1, 2010
  • pp: 1792–1794

Sensitive micromechanical displacement detection by scattering evanescent optical waves

Onur Basarir, Suraj Bramhavar, Gilberto Basilio-Sanchez, Theodore Morse, and Kamil L. Ekinci  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 35, Issue 11, pp. 1792-1794 (2010)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (347 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We describe a simple approach to detect small mechanical displacements by scattering evanescent optical waves confined around an optical waveguide. Our experimental setup consists of a microcantilever brought into the proximity of a tapered optical fiber. The scattering of evanescent waves and hence the optical transmission through the tapered fiber is strongly dependent on the separation between the fiber and the microcantilever, allowing for sensitive detection of the small oscillations of the microcantilever. Our approach does not require a coherent laser source, yet it provides a displacement sensitivity of ~ 260 fm Hz 1 / 2 at a small power level of 38 μW . It is suitable for scanning probe microscopy and could eventually be adapted to nanomechanical resonators.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements
(120.7280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Vibration analysis
(120.4880) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optomechanics

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: February 24, 2010
Revised Manuscript: April 20, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: April 23, 2010
Published: May 19, 2010

Onur Basarir, Suraj Bramhavar, Gilberto Basilio-Sanchez, Theodore Morse, and Kamil L. Ekinci, "Sensitive micromechanical displacement detection by scattering evanescent optical waves," Opt. Lett. 35, 1792-1794 (2010)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. K. L. Ekinci and M. L. Roukes, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 76, 061101 (2005). [CrossRef]
  2. N. V. Lavrik, M. J. Sepaniak, and P. G. Datskos, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 75, 2229 (2004). [CrossRef]
  3. M. Li, W. H. P. Pernice, and H. X. Tang, Nat. Nanotechnol. 4, 377 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. I. D. Vlaminck, J. Roels, D. Taillaert, D. V. Thourhout, R. Baets, L. Lagae, and G. Borghs, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 233116 (2007). [CrossRef]
  5. G. Anetsberger, O. Arcizet, Q. P. Unterreithmeier, R. Riviere, A. Schliesser, E. M. Weig, J. P. Kotthaus, and T. J. Kippenberg, Nat. Phys. 5, 909 (2009). [CrossRef]
  6. Q. P. Unterreithmeier, S. Manus, and J. P. Kotthaus, Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 263104 (2009). [CrossRef]
  7. N. Liu, F. Giesen, M. Belov, J. Losby, J. Moroz, A. E. Fraser, G. McKinnon, T. J. Clement, V. Sauer, W. K. Hiebert, and M. R. Freeman, Nat. Nanotech. 3, 715 (2008). [CrossRef]
  8. S. S. Verbridge, H. G. Craighead, and J. M. Parpia, Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 013112 (2008). [CrossRef]
  9. G. Meyer and N. M. Amer, Appl. Phys. Lett. 53, 1045 (1988). [CrossRef]
  10. D. Karabacak, T. Kouh, C. C. Huang, and K. L. Ekinci, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 193122 (2006). [CrossRef]
  11. D. M. Karabacak, K. L. Ekinci, C. H. Gan, G. J. Gbur, M. S. Ünlü, S. B. Ippolito, B. B. Goldberg, and P. S. Carney, Opt. Lett. 32, 1881 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. B. E. Little, J.-P. Laine, and H. A. Haus, J. Lightwave Technol. 17, 704 (1999). [CrossRef]
  13. M. Eichenfield, C. P. Michael, R. Perahia, and O. Painter, Nat. Photon. 1, 416 (2007). [CrossRef]
  14. M. L. Povinelli, M. Loncar, M. Ibanescu, E. J. Smythe, S. G. Johnson, F. Capasso, and J. D. Joannopoulos, Opt. Lett. 30, 3042 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. J. N. Israelachvili, Intermolecular and Surface Forces, 2nd ed. (Academic, 1992).
  16. A. N. Cleland, Foundations of Nanomechanics, 1st ed. (Springer, 2002).
  17. D. M. Karabacak, V. Yakhot, and K. L. Ekinci, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 254505 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited