Abstract

Droplets are very simple physical systems, whereby surface tension shapes liquids into ideal opto-mechanical devices. This has recently enabled low-viscosity liquid samples to serve as miniature acoustic resonators harnessing optical generation of bulk vibrations, capillaries, or surface waves. Uniquely, a simple room-temperature pendant droplet can be activated as a hypersound-laser emitter when illuminated by a free-space, low-power visible laser thanks to stimulated Brillouin scattering of optical and acoustic whispering-gallery modes. Here, we demonstrate continuous operation of a liquid polymer opto-mechanical resonator and characterize its quality factor and long-term frequency stability. Our results point to the feasibility of all-liquid micro-mechanical oscillators working in the 50–100 MHz range. The stimulated generation of high-quality surface waves on nanoliter droplets gives momentum to new optical schemes for characterization of material viscous–elastic properties, laboratory investigation of atmospheric phenomena, and mass sensing for direct analysis of biological fluids based on ultrasound–hypersound coherent generation and detection.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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