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Measurement of Thermo-Optic Properties of Thin Film Dielectric Coatings


Ogin, Gregory H. (2013) Measurement of Thermo-Optic Properties of Thin Film Dielectric Coatings. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/A1CR-G214.


We have carried out an experiment to test the theory of the thermo-optic response of a dielectric stack mirror coating and to measure parameters of interest in calculating thermo-optic noise. Specifically, we measured the coefficient of thermal expansion and the change of index of refraction with temperature (dn/dT ) for thin film silica (SiO2) and tantala (Ta2O5) in mirror coatings. These measurements were achieved by driving thermal fluctuations in such mirrors in one arm of a small Michelson interferometer. We report on the results of that experiment along with its potential implications for future gravitational wave detectors, and suggest next steps for this important line of investigation.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Thin Film Dielectric Mirror Coating Coefficient of Thermal Expansion Thermo-Optic Tantala Silica
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Libbrecht, Kenneth George
Thesis Committee:
  • Libbrecht, Kenneth George (chair)
  • Adhikari, Rana
  • Weinstein, Alan Jay
  • Greer, Julia R.
  • Black, Eric
Defense Date:10 August 2012
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:08212012-185113285
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7189
Deposited By: Gregory Ogin
Deposited On:19 Nov 2012 20:08
Last Modified:26 Oct 2021 18:32

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