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Exceptional-point-based accelerometers with enhanced signal-to-noise ratio

Ramathasan Thevamaran's picture

Exceptional points (EP) are non-Hermitian degeneracies where eigenvalues and their corresponding eigenvectors coalesce. Recently, EPs have attracted attention as a means to enhance the responsivity of sensors, through the abrupt resonant detuning occurring in their proximity. In many cases, however, the EP implementation is accompanied by noise enhancement, leading to the degradation of the sensor’s performance. The excess noise can be of fundamental nature (owing to the eigenbasis collapse) or of technical nature associated with the amplification mechanisms utilized for the realization of EPs. Here we show, using an EP-based parity–time symmetric electromechanical accelerometer, that the enhanced technical noise can be surpassed by the enhanced responsivity to applied accelerations. The noise owing to eigenbasis collapse is mitigated by exploiting the detuning from a transmission peak degeneracy (TPD) — which forms when the sensor is weakly coupled to transmission lines — as a measure of the sensitivity. These TPDs occur at a frequency and control parameters for which the biorthogonal eigenbasis is still complete and are distinct from the EPs of the parity–time symmetric sensor. Our device shows a threefold signal-to-noise-ratio enhancement compared with configurations for which the system operates away from the TPD.

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