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Published January 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Invited Article: CO_2 laser production of fused silica fibers for use in interferometric gravitational wave detector mirror suspensions


In 2000 the first mirror suspensions to use a quasi-monolithic final stage were installed at the GEO600 detector site outside Hannover, pioneering the use of fused silica suspension fibers in long baseline interferometric detectors to reduce suspension thermal noise. Since that time, development of the production methods of fused silica fibers has continued. We present here a review of a novel CO_2 laser-based fiber pulling machine developed for the production of fused silica suspensions for the next generation of interferometric gravitational wave detectors and for use in experiments requiring low thermal noise suspensions. We discuss tolerances, strengths, and thermal noise performance requirements for the next generation of gravitational wave detectors. Measurements made on fibers produced using this machine show a 0.8% variation in vertical stiffness and 0.05% tolerance on length, with average strengths exceeding 4 GPa, and mechanical dissipation which meets the requirements for Advanced LIGO thermal noise performance.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Institute of Physics. Received 13 September 2010; accepted 6 November 2010; published online 21 January 2011. The authors would like to thank Colin Craig and Stephen Craig for their work toward the construction of the laser fiber pulling machine. We would like to thank our colleagues in the GEO600 project, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA), and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration for their interest in this work. We also wish to thank the ILIAS Strega project and Leverhulme Trust for support. We are grateful for the financial support provided by the STFC and the University of Glasgow in the UK and the NSF in the USA. The LIGO Observatories were constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the NSF under cooperative agreement PHY-9210038. The LIGO Laboratory operates under cooperative agreement PHY-0107417.

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Published - Heptonstall2011p12863Rev_Sci_Instrum.pdf


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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023