Tenfold reduction of Brownian noise in high-reflectivity optical coatings

Author(s): G. D. Cole, W. Zhang, M. J. Martin, J. Ye, M. Aspelmeyer

Journal: Nature Photonics

Volume: 7

Page(s): 644–650

Year: 2013

DOI Number: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.174

Link: Link to publication


Thermally induced fluctuations impose a fundamental limit on precision measurement. In optical interferometry, the current bounds of stability and sensitivity are dictated by the excess mechanical damping of the high-reflectivity coatings that comprise the cavity end mirrors. Over the last decade, the dissipation of these amorphous multilayer reflectors has at best been reduced by a factor of two. Here, we demonstrate a new paradigm in optical coating technology based on direct-bonded monocrystalline multilayers, which exhibit both intrinsically low mechanical loss and high optical quality. Employing these ‘crystalline coatings’ as end mirrors in a Fabry–Pérot cavity, we obtain a finesse of 150,000. More importantly, at room temperature, we observe a thermally limited noise floor consistent with a tenfold reduction in mechanical damping when compared with the best dielectric multilayers. These results pave the way for the next generation of ultra-sensitive interferometers, as well as for new levels of laser stability.

Note: http://arxiv.org/abs/1302.6489

Aspelmeyer Group Aspelmeyer Group