Research Seminar Abstract
Reduction of Brownian thermal noise due to mechanical loss in high-reflectivity mirror coatings is critical for improving the sensitivity of future gravitational wave detectors. In these mirrors, the mechanical loss at room temperature is dominated by the high refractive index component, amorphous tantala (Ta2O5). Our work investigates solutions to decrease the coating’s mechanical loss. The use of assist ion bombardment with low energy Ar+ and Xe+ during deposition was implemented to identify effects on coating’s structural and mechanical properties. Doping tantala with other oxides was also researched.