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Crystalline Coatings: an unexpected spin-off of fundamental research in cavity optomechanics

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The Stanford OSA/SPIE Student Chapter Speaker Committee presents:
Garrett D. Cole
Crystalline Coatings: an unexpected spin-off of fundamental research in cavity optomechanics
Thursday, March 24, 4:15pm (refreshments at 4pm)
Spilker 232
In this presentation I provide an overview of how two scientists from the University of Vienna stumbled upon an enabling technology, born from fundamental research in the burgeoning field of cavity optomechanics, and made a successful transition from academia to industry. The fruit of this endeavor is "Crystalline Mirror Solutions," or CMS, a photonics start-up commercializing high-performance optics for laser-based precision measurement and manufacturing systems. In this presentation I will outline the key elements that led to the success of this endeavor including the conception of the underlying technology, as well as the supporting infrastructure and funding organizations that ultimately assisted in bringing this idea out of the laboratory and to the commercial market. For background information, please see my recent post on the International Year of Light blog:…/crystalline-supermirrors-from-co….
About the Speaker:
Garrett D. Cole, Co-Founder of Crystalline Mirror Solutions LLC & GmbH obtained his PhD in Materials
Science and Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2005. Since completing his doctorate, he has held positions ranging from the first employee of a high-tech startup (Aerius Photonics LLC, now FLIR Electro-Optical Components), to a postdoctoral position at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a Marie Curie Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and most recently an assistant professor in the Faculty of Physics at the University of Vienna. In the course of his research career, Dr. Cole has authored 2 book chapters and published more than 50 journal articles and conference proceedings including articles in Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Photonics, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Leveraging his expertise in micro- and nanofabrication, tunable vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, and cavity optomechanics, Dr. Cole developed the proprietary substrate-transfer process at the heart of Crystalline Mirror Solutions and, along with Professor Markus Aspelmeyer, co-founded the venture in February 2012.
Technical Background:
Ultrastable interferometers require mirrors that simultaneously exhibit excellent optical and mechanical quality. The current bounds of stability and sensitivity in these systems are dictated by the mechanical dissipation, and thus the corresponding Brownian noise level, of the high-reflectivity coatings that comprise the cavity end mirrors. A spin-off of fundamental quantum optics research from the University of Vienna, Crystalline Mirror Solutions has developed a proprietary microfabrication technique that enables the transfer of low-loss single-crystal semiconductor heterostructures onto essentially arbitrary optical surfaces. These "crystalline coatings" simultaneously exhibit both high reflectivity and minimal mechanical damping, with room temperature loss angles an order of magnitude below that of state-of-the-art ion-beam sputtered (IBS) dielectric coatings and cryogenic loss angles reduced by a further factor of ten. These excellent optomechanical properties pave the way for the implementation of crystalline coatings in the next generation of cavity-stabilized laser systems and interferometric gravitational-wave detectors. Over the last two years we have undertaken a focused optimization effort, culminating in the realization of parts-per-million levels of optical scatter and even sub-ppm absorption for center wavelengths spanning 1000 to 1600 nm, proving that crystalline coatings are capable of optical performance rivaling that of IBS multilayers. Moving to longer wavelengths, first attempts at fabricating reflectors for the 3–4 µm spectral region have already yielded optical losses on par with the best coatings present on the commercial market. Taken together, mirrors fabricated with our crystalline coating technique exhibit the lowest mechanical loss (and thus Brownian noise), the highest thermal conductivity, and the widest spectral coverage of any “supermirror” technology, paving the way for an expanded application space in inertial sensing, ultrafast and high power laser systems, and chemical and trace gas sensing.
Spilker 232
Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 16:15