Photonic Integrated Circuits for Cavity Optomechanical Inertial Sensors: From the Classical to Quantum Regime
High-volume low-cost optical devices can be realised through scalable photonic integrated circuits (PICs) to create optical analogues of existing technologies that benefit from increased signal-to-noise readout and the coherence of lasers. Zero Point Motion reports on progress in developing chipscale optical inertial sensors, where an optical resonance is highly sensitive to the mechanical response of inertial test-masses. When optimised, these so-called cavity optomechanical systems can reach displacement sensitivities at 10^(-18)m/Hz^(1/2), with paths towards quantum sensing where the mechanical test-mass is cooled to a macroscopic quantum ground state. Our core mission is first commercialising classical sensors with 100x lower noise floor than existing automotive accelerometers and gyroscopes, exploiting the PIC supply chain to mass-produce photonics chips with integrated lasers and detectors, and combining these semiconductor fabrication steps with existing MEMS processes to create released test-mass structures.