Nanolayered reflective coatings for interferometric gravitational wave detectors.

Neilson J. Bobba F., Carapella G., Chao S., Chiadini F., De Salvo R., Di Giorgio C., Durante O., Fittipaldi R., Fiumara V., Kuo L.-C., Linker S., Mondin M., Pan W.-H., Pierro V., Pinto I.M., Principe M.

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The sensitivity of interferometric gravitational wave detectors is limited by thermal noise in their mirrors. A lab at the University of Sannio was established for experimental investigation of nano-layered mirrors in the frame of the Virgo Coating R&D Collaboration. Nanolayering involves splitting each layer of a dielectric mirror into nanometer scale stacks of different materials, aimed at inhibiting the formation of crystallites, credited to be the source of light scattering and mechanical dissipation (thermal noise). Preliminary results on nanolayered coatings show the increase of the crystallization temperature and the reduction in mechanical losses as the thickness of individual layers is reduced.

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