We report the experimental observation of lateral shearing optical gradient forces in nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) controlled dual-coupled photonic crystal (PhC) nanobeam cavities. With an on-chip integrated NEMS actuator, the coupled cavities can be mechanically reconfigured in the lateral direction while maintaining a constant coupling gap. Shearing optical gradient forces are generated when the two cavity centers are laterally displaced. In our experiments, positive and negative lateral shearing optical forces of 0.42 nN and 0.29 nN are observed with different pumping modes. This study may broaden the potential applications of the optical gradient force in nanophotonic devices and benefit the future nanooptoelectromechanical systems.

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