LIGO Document P1100043-v1

Waveguide grating mirror in a fully suspended 10 meter Fabry-Perot cavity

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We report on the first demonstration of a fully suspended 10m Fabry-Perot cavity incorporating a waveguide grating as the coupling mirror. The cavity was kept on resonance by reading out the length fluctuations via the Pound-Drever-Hall method and employing feedback to the laser frequency. From the achieved finesse of 790 the grating reflectivity was determined to exceed 99.2% at the laser wavelength of 1064nm, which is in good agreement with rigorous simulations. Our waveguide grating design was based on tantala and fused silica and included a 20nm thin etch stop layer made of Al2O3 that allowed us to define the grating depth accurately during the fabrication process. Demonstrating stable operation of a waveguide grating featuring high reflectivity in a suspended low-noise cavity, our work paves the way for the potential application of waveguide gratings as low-noise mirrors in high-precision interferometry, for instance
in future gravitational wave observatories.
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