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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Stanford University
  • Martin M Fejer
  • (650) 725-2160
Award Date:12/01/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,350,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 450,000
  • FY 2018=$450,000
Start Date:12/01/2017
End Date:11/30/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: Stanford-Florida program in Support of LIGO on Coatings and Core Optics
Federal Award ID Number:1707866
DUNS ID:009214214
Parent DUNS ID:009214214
Program Officer:
  • Pedro Marronetti
  • (703) 292-7372

Awardee Location

Street:3160 Porter Drive
City:Palo Alto
County:Palo Alto
Awardee Cong. District:18

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Stanford University
Street:348 Via Pueblo Mall
Cong. District:18

Abstract at Time of Award

The detections of gravitational waves from coalescing black holes by the Advanced LIGO detectors has launched the field of gravitational wave astronomy. Increasing the sensitivity of the LIGO detector several times would increase the number of gravitational waves and the types of events observed. Future detectors, such as the A+ LIGO detector, planned for 2021, will be limited by thermal noise associated with the mirror coatings used in the detector optics. The proposed work is a collaborative effort between Martin Fejer's group at Stanford University and Hai-Ping Cheng's group at the University of Florida to develop mirror coatings with lower thermal noise to address this problem for A+ LIGO and beyond. The Stanford gravitational wave research program has been involved for more than two decades in research to enable gravitational wave detectors by working closely with the LIGO Science Collaboration (LSC) to do critical research and mitigate difficult challenges. In the past, Stanford has contributed broadly to the development of novel interferometer components and design, detailed studies of the optics and mitigating optical and thermal noise, and the advanced seismic isolation systems used in Advanced LIGO (aLIGO). Hai-Ping Cheng's group at Florida is involved in computational materials simulations. In support of LIGO, she has modeled atomic structure of amorphous films and evaluated mechanical losses associated with those structures as part of a broader LSC effort to develop low-thermal-noise mirror coatings. While Advanced LIGO has now operated with adequate sensitivity to detect black hole coalescences, its mid-band sensitivity will be limited by thermal noise resulting from mechanical dissipation in the mirror coatings. Stanford has had a leading role within the LSC in developing experimental methods to characterize the optical, elastic, and structural properties of the amorphous materials composing multilayer dielectric mirrors. Florida carries out the current computational materials modeling effort within LSC. The proposed program is a synergistic teaming to combine these skill sets to address a critical issue to meet the design goals of A+ LIGO, developing mirrors with 2-4 times less mechanical loss than the best currently available. The mechanical losses in amorphous materials depend on subtle, preparation-dependent features in their atomic structure. Data on these structural features obtained via the electron diffraction and X-ray scattering methods proposed here is challenging to interpret, as are molecular dynamics predictions of the structure. Methods exist to use the modeling to help interpret the data and the data to help constrain the modeling, which led to the teaming arrangement proposed here. The structural data and predictions for dependence of elastic losses on material composition and process conditions, will become a major contributor to the broader LSC program to develop mirrors for A+ LIGO, guiding the others working on this problem through the thicket of possible synthesis and characterization experiments. Another long-standing effort at Stanford has been in the optical characterization of low-optical loss materials at the sub-ppm/cm level, dating back to the selection between silica and sapphire for initial LIGO test masses. The group has recently begun using the interferometric tool developed for those studies to characterize cryogenic losses in single-crystal silicon samples to evaluate their suitability as test masses in the planned cryogenic LIGO Voyager.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Abernathy, Matthew and Harry, Gregory and Newport, Jonathan and Fair, Hannah and Kinley-Hanlon, Maya and Hickey, Samuel and Jiffar, Isaac and Gretarsson, Andri and Penn, Steve and Bassiri, Riccardo and Gustafson, Eric and Martin, Iain and Rowan, Sheila an "Bulk and shear mechanical loss of titania-doped tantala" Physics Letters A, v.382, 2018, p.. doi:10.1016/j.physleta.2017.08.007 Citation details  

Vajente, G and Birney, R and Ananyeva, A and Angelova, S and Asselin, R and Baloukas, B and Bassiri, R and Billingsley, G and Fejer, M M and Gibson, D and Godbout, L J and Gustafson, E and Heptonstall, A and Hough, J and MacFoy, S and Markosyan, A and Mar "Effect of elevated substrate temperature deposition on the mechanical losses in tantala thin film coatings" Classical and Quantum Gravity, v.35, 2018, p.. doi:10.1088/1361-6382/aaad7c Citation details  

Murray, Peter G. and Martin, Iain W. and Craig, Kieran and Hough, James and Rowan, Sheila and Bassiri, Riccardo and Fejer, Martin M. and Harris, James S. and Lantz, Brian T. and Lin, Angie C. and Markosyan, Ashot S. and Route, Roger K. "Cryogenic mechanical loss of a single-crystalline GaP coating layer for precision measurement applications" Physical Review D, v.95, 2017, p.. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.95.042004 Citation details  

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