Demonstration of the multimaterial coating concept to reduce thermal noise in gravitational-wave detectors

Tait, S. C. et al. (2020) Demonstration of the multimaterial coating concept to reduce thermal noise in gravitational-wave detectors. Physical Review Letters, 125, 011102. (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.011102)

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Thermal noise associated with the mechanical loss of current highly reflective mirror coatings is a critical limit to the sensitivity of gravitational-wave detectors. Several alternative coating materials show potential for reducing thermal noise, but cannot be used due to their high optical absorption. Multimaterial coatings have been proposed to enable the use of such materials to reduce thermal noise while minimizing their impact on the total absorption of the mirror coating. Here we present experimental verification of the multimaterial concept, by integrating aSi into a highly reflective SiO2 and Ta2O5 multilayer coating. We show a significant thermal noise improvement and demonstrate consistent optical and mechanical performance. The multimaterial coating survives the heat treatment required to minimize the absorption of the aSi layers, with no adverse effects from the different thermomechanical properties of the three materials.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Also funded by the University of Glasgow and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation, STE 2646/1-1).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Steinlechner, Dr Jessica and Tait, Mr Simon and Kinley-Hanlon, Miss Maya and Rowan, Professor Sheila and Martin, Dr Iain and McGhee, Mr Graeme and Murray, Dr Peter
Authors: Tait, S. C., Steinlechner, J., Kinley-Hanlon, M. M., Murray, P. G., Hough, J., McGhee, G., Pein, F., Rowan, S., Schnabel, R., Smith, C., Terkowski, L., and Martin, I.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Physical Review Letters
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN (Online):1079-7114
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 American Physical Society
First Published:First published in Physical Review Letters
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173808Investigations in gravitational radiationSheila RowanScience and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/N005422/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy
166497Optical characterisation of silicon and mirror materials for gravitational astronomy.Iain MartinThe Royal Society (ROYSOC)RG110331P&S - Physics & Astronomy