Developing low noise coatings for GW detectors, using next generation techniques such as ECR ion-beam deposition, and plasma-assisted deposition.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Biomedical Engineering

Abstract

On 14th September 2015, Advanced LIGO announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves, from two black holes colliding. This announcement was heralded by many people as the "scientific breakthrough of the century", and opens up an entirely new way to observe the Universe.

UWS is a full member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and plays a key role within the international community in relation to developing laser mirror technology for future detector upgrades. This project is supported through the STFC (UK) funding within this area of astroparticle research, and will thus be focussed on developing low noise coatings for GW detectors, using next generation techniques such as ECR ion-beam deposition, and plasma-assisted deposition.

Thermal noise arising from the mechanical dissipation in the mirror coatings is expected to set an important limit to the sensitivity of all future gravitational wave detectors. UWS has recently demonstrated the ability to fabricate novel amorphous silicon films that exhibit low levels of mechanical and optical losses. This project will focus on the development of multilayer HR coatings using this novel technology, such as silicon/silica and silicon/alumina, and evaluate these for use within upgrades to Advanced LIGO in addition to future observatories such as the Einstein Telescope. Numerous spin-out applications will also be considered, such as ultra-low optical loss infrared filters for environmental monitoring applications.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/N504518/1 01/02/2016 31/01/2021
1785610 Studentship ST/N504518/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2020 Angelova Svetoslava