Invited Article : CO2 laser production of fused silica fibers for use in interferometric gravitational wave detector mirror suspensions

Heptonstall, A. and Barton, M.A. and Bell, A. and Cagnoli, G. and Cantley, C.A. and Crooks, D.R.M. and Cumming, A. and Grant, A. and Hammond, G.D. and Harry, G.M. and Hough, J. and Jones, R. and Kelley, D. and Kumar, R. and Martin, I.W. and Robertson, N.A. and Rowan, S. and Strain, K.A. and Tokmakov, K. and Van Veggel, M. (2011) Invited Article : CO2 laser production of fused silica fibers for use in interferometric gravitational wave detector mirror suspensions. Review of Scientific Instruments, 82 (1). ISSN 0034-6748

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    Abstract

    In 2000 the first mirror suspensions to use a quasi-monolithic final stage were installed at the GEO600 detector site outside Hannover, pioneering the use of fused silica suspension fibers in long baseline interferometric detectors to reduce suspension thermal noise. Since that time, development of the production methods of fused silica fibers has continued. We present here a review of a novel CO2 laser-based fiber pulling machine developed for the production of fused silica suspensions for the next generation of interferometric gravitational wave detectors and for use in experiments requiring low thermal noise suspensions. We discuss tolerances, strengths, and thermal noise performance requirements for the next generation of gravitational wave detectors. Measurements made on fibers produced using this machine show a 0.8% variation in vertical stiffness and 0.05% tolerance on length, with average strengths exceeding 4 GPa, and mechanical dissipation which meets the requirements for Advanced LIGO thermal noise performance.