How can amorphous silicon improve current gravitational-wave detectors?

Steinlechner, J. and Martin, I. W. (2021) How can amorphous silicon improve current gravitational-wave detectors? Physical Review D, 103(4), 042001. (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.103.042001)

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Thermal noise in the highly reflective mirror coatings is one of the main limitations to the sensitivity of current gravitational-wave detectors. Amorphous silicon (aSi) is an ideal material to reduce thermal noise. Due to high optical absorption at 1064 nm, so far it was mainly considered as a candidate for future, cryogenic detectors using longer wavelengths. This paper summarizes the current state-of-the-art of the optical absorption of aSi at 1064 nm. We show how recent improvements in aSi absorption, and the development of multimaterial coatings, make the use of aSi at 1064 nm realistic, and discuss the possible thermal-noise improvement and corresponding optical absorption in room-temperature gravitational-wave detectors.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:We are grateful for financial support from STFC (ST/N005422/1), the Royal Society (RG110331) and the University of Glasgow. I. W. M. was supported by a Royal Society Research Fellowship while working on this paper. We are grateful to the International Max Planck Partnership for Measurement and Observation at the Quantum Limit for support, and we thank our colleagues in the LSC and Virgo collaborations and within SUPA for their interest in this work. This paper has LIGO Document number LIGO-P2000333.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Martin, Dr Iain and Steinlechner, Dr Jessica
Authors: Steinlechner, J., and Martin, I. W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Physical Review D
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN (Online):2470-0029
Published Online:01 February 2021

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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