Journal article Open Access

Dispersive coupling between light and a rare-earth-ion–doped mechanical resonator

Klaus Mølmer; Yann Le Coq; Signe Seidelin

By spectrally hole burning an inhomogeneously broadened ensemble of ions while applying a controlled
perturbation, one can obtain spectral holes that are functionalized for maximum sensitivity to different
perturbations. We propose to use such hole-burned structures for the dispersive optical interaction with
rare-earth-ion dopants whose frequencies are sensitive to crystal strain due to the bending motion of a crystal
cantilever. A quantitative analysis shows that good optical sensitivity to the bending motion is obtained if a
magnetic-field gradient is applied across the crystal during hole burning and that the resulting optomechanical
coupling strength is sufficient for observing quantum features such as zero-point vibrations.

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