Abstract

Fundamental limits on reflection losses are set by internal material losses associated with the Urbach tail a band gap and by thermodynamic density fluctuations in fabrication. In materials such as SiO2 near mirrors, in and TiO2, these limits are of the order of parts in 109. The current quality of supercavity mirrors, in contrast to that optical fibers, is still far from these limits because of purely technological limitations in contrast to that of surface preparation and in the reduction of impurity levels. Overcoming these would greatly benefit, for example, Fabry–Perot interferometers, ring lasers, and gravitational wave detectors.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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