U.S. Navy awards CO State professor $2.5 million to research laser interference coatings

December 4, 2007, Fort Collins, CO--The Office of Naval Research has awarded a Colorado State University professor and her academic partners at the University of New Mexico, Stanford University, and Jefferson Lab a five-year, $2.5 million Multidisciplinary Research Initiative grant to advance the fundamental understanding and development of interference coatings for high-energy lasers.

Professor Carmen Menoni in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU) is the principal investigator on the project, which will seek to develop robust optical coatings for the high-average-power Free Electron Laser demonstrated at Jefferson Lab in Virginia.

"In a laser, the mirrors that make up the cavity control the laser output power, so advances in the fabrication technology are imperative," Menoni said. "This research is critical for continued improvements in laser technology, from high-power to ultrashort-pulse lasers. This is a billion-dollar industry." For the growth of the oxide coatings, CSU uses equipment donated by Veeco in 2002. CSU is also well equipped for testing the coating's morphology, optical response, and resistance to laser damage using advanced high-power laser systems being developed in-house.

The University of New Mexico has a track record investigating and modeling the role of defects on the optical response of oxide films and their stacks including their laser damage behavior. Stanford University has unique capabilities for the study of ultra-low loss coatings. The collaboration with Jefferson Lab will make possible testing of the coatings inside the Free Electron Laser cavity.

For more information, visit www.newsinfo.colostate.edu .

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