Optomechanically-induced chiral transport of phonons in one dimension

Non-reciprocal devices, with one-way transport properties, form a key component for isolating and controlling light in photonic systems. Optomechanical systems have emerged as a potential platform for optical non-reciprocity, due to ability of a pump laser to break time and parity symmetry in the system. Here we consider how the non-reciprocal behavior of light can also impact the transport of sound in optomechanical devices. We focus on the case of a quasi one dimensional optical ring resonator with many mechanical modes coupled to light via the acousto-optic effect. The addition of disorder leads to finite diffusion for phonon transport in the material, largely due to elastic backscattering between clockwise and counter-clockwise phonons. We show that a laser pump field, along with the assumption of high quality-factor, sideband-resolved optical resonances, suppresses the effects of disorder and leads to the emergence of chiral diffusion, with direction-dependent diffusion emerging in a bandwidth similar to the phase-matching bandwidth for Brillouin scattering. A simple diagrammatic theory connects the observation of reduced mechanical linewidths directly to the associated phonon diffusion properties, and helps explain recent experimental results.

Comments: 20 pages, 4 figures

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