Nature Communications

Brillouin scattering self-cancellation

The interaction between light and acoustic phonons is strongly modified in sub-wavelength confinement, and has led to the demonstration and control of Brillouin scattering in photonic structures such as nano-scale optical waveguides and cavities. Besides the small optical mode volume, two physical mechanisms come into play simultaneously: a volume effect caused by the strain-induced refractive index perturbation (known as photo-elasticity), and a surface effect caused by the shift of the optical boundaries due to mechanical vibrations. As a result, proper material and structure engineering allows one to control each contribution individually. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the perfect cancellation of Brillouin scattering arising from Rayleigh acoustic waves by engineering a silica nanowire with exactly opposing photo-elastic and moving-boundary effects. This demonstration provides clear experimental evidence that the interplay between the two mechanisms is a promising tool to precisely control the photon–phonon interaction, enhancing or suppressing it.

Brazilian Physical Society highlighted Nature Communications paper

The Brazilian Physical Society (Sociedade Brasileira de Física, SBF) highlighted our article on photon-phonon interaction in silica nanowires (see post on July 7th, 2016, in Portuguese only).

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