High-performance near- and mid-infrared crystalline coatings

Author(s): G. D. Cole, W. Zhang, B. J. Bjork, D. Follman, P. Heu, C. Deutsch, L. Sonderhouse, J. Robinson, C. Franz, A. Alexandrovski, M. Notcutt, O. H. Heckl, J. Ye, M. Aspelmeyer

Journal: Optica

Volume: 3

Page(s): pp. 647-656

Year: 2016

DOI Number: 10.1364/OPTICA.3.000647

Link: Link to publication


Substrate-transferred crystalline coatings have recently emerged as a groundbreaking new concept in optical interference coatings. Building upon our initial demonstration of this technology, we have now realized significant improvements in the limiting optical performance of these novel single-crystal GaAs/AlxGa1−xAs multilayers. In the near-infrared (NIR), for coating center wavelengths spanning 1064 to 1560 nm, we have reduced the excess optical losses (scatter + absorption) to levels as low as 3 parts per million, enabling the realization of a cavity finesse exceeding 3×105 at the telecom-relevant wavelength range near 1550 nm. Moreover, we demonstrate the direct measurement of sub-ppm optical absorption at 1064 nm. Concurrently, we investigate the mid-IR (MIR) properties of these coatings and observe exceptional performance for first attempts in this important wavelength region. Specifically, we verify excess losses at the hundred ppm level for wavelengths of 3300 and 3700 nm. Taken together, our NIR optical losses are now fully competitive with ion beam sputtered multilayer coatings, while our first prototype MIR optics have already reached state-of-the-art performance levels for reflectors covering this portion of the fingerprint region for optical gas sensing. Mirrors fabricated with our crystalline coating technique exhibit the lowest mechanical loss, and thus the lowest Brownian noise, the highest thermal conductivity, and, potentially, the widest spectral coverage of any "supermirror" technology in a single material platform. Looking ahead, we see a bright future for crystalline coatings in applications requiring the ultimate levels of optical, thermal, and optomechanical performance

Aspelmeyer Group Aspelmeyer Group