Optically driven self-oscillations of a silica nanospike at low gas pressures

Shangran Xie, Riccardo Pennetta, Roman E. Noskov, Philip St J. Russell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We report light-driven instability and optomechanical self-oscillation of a fused silica "nanospike" at low gas pressures. The nanospike (tip diameter 400 nm), fabricated by thermally tapering and HF-etching a single mode fiber (SMF), was set pointing at the endface of a hollow-core photonic crystal fiber (HC-PCF) into the field created by the fundamental optical mode emerging from the HC-PCF. At low pressures, the nanospike became unstable and began to self-oscillate for optical powers above a certain threshold, acting like a phonon laser or "phaser". Because the nanospike is robustly connected to the base, direct measurement of the temporal dynamics of the instability is possible. The experiment sheds light on why particles escape from optical traps at low pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIII
EditorsKishan Dholakia, Gabriel C. Spalding
ISBN (Electronic)9781510602359
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIII - San Diego, United States
Duration: 28 Aug 20161 Sep 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Hollow-core photonic crystal fiber
  • Nanotaper
  • Optical tweezers
  • Optomechanics
  • Self-oscillation


Dive into the research topics of 'Optically driven self-oscillations of a silica nanospike at low gas pressures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this