Propagation and Imaging of mechanical waves in a highly stressed single-mode acoustic waveguide

[Physical Review Applied, vol. 11, no. 6, Jun. 2019] – Phononic setup, Credit: E. Romero.

We demonstrate a single-mode acoustic waveguide that enables robust propagation of mechanical waves. The waveguide is a highly stressed silicon-nitride membrane that supports the propagation of out of-plane modes. In direct analogy to rectangular microwave waveguides, there exists a band of frequencies over which only the fundamental mode is allowed to propagate, while multiple modes are supported at higher frequencies. We directly image the mode profiles using optical heterodyne vibration measurement, showing good agreement with theory. In the single-mode frequency band, we show low-loss propagation (approximately 1 dB/cm) for an approximately 5-MHz mechanical wave. This design is well suited for acoustic circuits interconnecting elements such as nonlinear resonators or optomechanical devices for signal processing, sensing, or quantum technologies.

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We gratefully acknowledge funding from:

Australian Research Council
Lockheed Martin
ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems