Correlations between the mechanical loss and atomic structure of amorphous TiO2-doped Ta2O5 coatings

Bassiri, R., Evans, K., Borisenko, K.B., Fejer, M.M., Hough, J., MacLaren, I., Martin, I.W., Route, R.K. and Rowan, S. (2013) Correlations between the mechanical loss and atomic structure of amorphous TiO2-doped Ta2O5 coatings. Acta Materialia, 61(4), pp. 1070-1077. (doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2012.10.009)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2012.10.009

Abstract

Highly reflective dielectric mirror coatings are critical components in a range of precision optics applications including frequency combs, optical atomic clocks, precision interferometry and ring laser gyroscopes. A key limitation to the performance in these applications is thermal noise, arising from the mechanical loss of the coatings. The origins of the mechanical loss from these coatings is not well understood.

Recent work suggests that the mechanical loss of amorphous Ta2O5 coatings can drop by as much as 40% when it is doped with TiO2. We use a combination of electron diffraction data and atomic modelling using molecular dynamics to probe the atomic structure of these coatings, and examine the correlations between changes in the atomic structure and changes in the mechanical loss of these coatings. Our results show the first correlation between changes in the mechanical loss and experimentally measured changes in the atomic structure resulting from variations in the level of TiO2 doping in TiO2-doped Ta2O5 coatings, in that increased homogeneity at the nearest-neighbour level appears to correlate with reduced mechanical loss. It is demonstrated that subtle but measurable changes in the nearest-neighbour homogeneity in an amorphous material can correlate with significant changes in macroscopic properties.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rowan, Professor Sheila and Martin, Dr Iain and MacLaren, Dr Ian and Hough, Professor James and Bassiri, Mr Riccardo
Authors: Bassiri, R., Evans, K., Borisenko, K.B., Fejer, M.M., Hough, J., MacLaren, I., Martin, I.W., Route, R.K., and Rowan, S.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy > Kelvin Nanocharacterisation Centre
Research Group:Materials and Condensed Matter Physics / Institute for Gravitational Research
Journal Name:Acta Materialia
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1359-6454
ISSN (Online):1873-2453
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Acta Materialia 61(4):1070-1077
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
459312Investigations in Gravitational Radiation.Sheila RowanScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/I001085/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
569981Proposal for UK Involvement in the Operation of Advanced LIGOKenneth StrainScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/J000019/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDNSFPHY-07 57896UNSPECIFIED
UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDNSFPHY-10 68596UNSPECIFIED
UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDEntrepeneurial FellowshipRiccardo BassiriSU2PUNSPECIFIEDP&A
560341Enabling astronomy with gravitational wavesIain MartinRoyal Society (ROYSOC)UF100602P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
545781Towards a new view of the UniverseSheila RowanRoyal Society (ROYSOC)WM100016P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
459311Investigations in Gravitational Radiation.Sheila RowanScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)PP/F001118/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
459313Investigations in Gravitational Radiation.Sheila RowanScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/J000361/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY