Ultrasensitive detection of mode splitting in active optical microcavities

Lina He, Şahin Kaya Özdemir, Jiangang Zhu, Lan Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Scattering-induced mode splitting in active microcavities is demonstrated. Below the lasing threshold, quality factor enhancement by optical gain allows resolving, in the wavelength-scanning transmission spectrum, of resonance dips of the split modes which otherwise would not be detected in a passive resonator. In the lasing regime, mode splitting manifests itself as two lasing modes with extremely narrow linewidths. Mixing these lasing modes in a detector leads to a heterodyne beat signal whose frequency corresponds to the mode-splitting amount. Lasing regime not only allows ultra-high sensitivity for mode-splitting measurements but also provides an easily accessible scheme by eliminating the need for wavelength scanning around resonant modes. Mode splitting in active microcavities has an immediate impact in enhancing the sensitivity of subwavelength scatterer detection and in studying light-matter interactions in a strong-coupling regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053810
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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