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Appl Opt. 2006 Aug 10;45(23):5795-9.

Optical characterization of ultrahigh diffraction efficiency gratings.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik (Albert-Einstein-Institut), Germany.


We report on the optical characterization of an ultrahigh diffraction efficiency grating in a first-order Littrow configuration. The apparatus used was an optical cavity built from the grating under investigation and an additional high-reflection mirror. The measurement of the cavity finesse provided precise information about the grating's diffraction efficiency and its optical loss. We measured a finesse of 1580 from which we deduced a diffraction efficiency of (99.635+/-0.016)% and an overall optical loss due to scattering and absorption of just 0.185%. Such high-quality gratings, including the tool used for their characterization, might apply for future gravitational wave detectors. For example, the demonstrated cavity itself presents an all-reflective, low-loss Fabry-Perot resonator that might replace conventional arm cavities in advanced high-power Michelson interferometers.

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