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Published July 2017 | Published
Journal Article Open

A high throughput instrument to measure mechanical losses in thin film coatings


Brownian thermal noise generated by mechanical losses in thin film coatings limits the sensitivity of gravitational wave detectors, as well as several high precision metrology experiments. Improving the sensitivity of the next generation of gravitational wave detectors will require optical coatings with significantly reduced mechanical losses. In this paper, we describe a system that we developed to measure the mechanical loss angle of thin film coatings deposited on fused silica substrates. The novelty of this system resides in the capability of parallel measurement of up to four samples and the ability to simultaneously probe all the resonant modes of each sample. This high throughput measurement system allows the exploration of a large number of deposition and material parameters, which can be tuned to achieve low loss coatings.

Additional Information

© 2017 AIP Publishing. Received 25 April 2017; accepted 13 June 2017; published online 5 July 2017. The authors are grateful to M. Granata, G. Cagnoli, Q. Cassar, and J. Degallaix (Laboratoire des Matériaux Avancés) for the opportunity to work with a gentle nodal suspension system, and to S. Penn (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) for useful comments and suggestions. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation, and operates under cooperative Agreement No. PHY-0757058. Advanced LIGO was built under Award No. PHY-0823459. This paper carries LIGO Document No. LIGO-P1700078.

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023