LIGO Document P1600076-v1

The Effect of Time on Optical Coating Mechanical Loss and Implications for LIGO-India

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We report on the change in mechanical loss with time of ion beam deposited dielectric coatings made from alternating layers of Ta$_2$O$_5$ and SiO$_2$ deposited onto fused silica substrates. From this, we predict the coating thermal noise in gravitational wave interferometers, after the coated optics have been stored for years. We measured the modal mechanical quality factor, $Q$, of two coated fused silica samples in 2015. These samples also had their modal $Q$'s measured in 2002. We conclude that storing the coated silica disks for 13~years does not change their mechanical loss and thus the storage of Advanced LIGO gravitational wave detector optics until their future installation in India will not degrade their achievable thermal noise.
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Published in Class Quant Grav vol. 33 pg. 147001.

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