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Optical Material Challenges Encountered in the Fabrication of the 1064nm Low Loss LIGO Mirrors

  • February 14, 2018
  • Michael’s at Shoreline 2960 Shoreline Blvd.
  • Mountain View , CA , USA


February Chapter Meeting – Fellow’s Night

Optical Material Challenges Encountered in the Fabrication of the 1064nm Low Loss LIGO Mirrors

Speaker: Ric P Shimshock

MLD Technologies LLC



5:30 pm Social/Networking…6:15 pm Dinner…7:30 pm Speaker

Buffet Dinner Cost: ASM Members $30……Students $10……Guests $35…..Talk only - Free

Reservations: Contact Al Kwong at (408) 248-1916 or or Jack Jew at



The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)  is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory designed to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool. Two LIGO Installations exist in the domestic US - Livingston, LA and Hanford, WA. Designed using a 1064nm nulling Optical Interferometer with a 4 Km beampath separation in the mirrors mechanical movements as small as 10E-19 can be detected.  To achieve these levels of infinitesimal levels of detection a number of material challenges have had to be overcome, resulting in some of the most precise optical mirrors ever produced. The mirrors are currently in use in these vacuum optical cavities. The LIGO Project is the Largest and most ambitious Project ever funded by the NSF and its record of detecting five Gravity wave events has led to the award of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics to three key LIGO Physicists.  This Talk will focus on some of the Material challenges presented by the LIGO Requirements.






Ric Shimshock received his M.Sc. in Optical Engineering from the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center (OSC).  His work at the OSC focused on the development and characterization of spectrally tuned transition metal nitrides coatings for use as high temperature, spectrally selective solar absorbers in photo-thermal power systems.  After joining Optical Coating Laboratory Inc (OCLI) as a Project Engineer, he worked in the Government Aerospace group from 1979-1986 supporting various projects associated with space based remote sensing, infrared imaging systems and high performance laser coatings.  He worked at Deposition Sciences Inc. (DSI) as a Program Manager from 1986-1995, where he developed high performance optical products using various deposition processes such as LPCVD, PECVD, Long Throw Sputtering, Ion Assisted Deposition and Microwave Assisted Sputtering.  He was hired by Southwall Technologies Inc in 1995 as the Director of Advanced Products and worked on developing web based coating technologies including AC and DC magnetron sputtering, PECVD and wet chemistries for display, solar control, automotive and large-scale architectural applications.  He supported Product scale-ups and successfully transitioned these Products to “Greenfield” Manufacturing Plants located in Tempe, Az and Dresden, Germany.  He is currently employed at MLD Technologies LLC working with both ultra-low-loss Ion Beam Sputtering (IBS) coating processes (ppm total loss) and Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Conformal Coating processes.  He has worked to scale these processes to uniformly coat 0.7- meter class precision laser optics. He has served on the Organizing and Advisory Committees with the OSA, AVS, ICCG, PSE, SVC and AIMCAL Organizations with the goal to successfully host Technical Symposia worldwide related to Optical Coating Technology.  He is active in the Optical Society of America (OSA) and served as the General Chair 9th Topical meeting on Optical Interference Coatings (OIC 2004).  He has recently served as the OSA Technical Group Chair for the Thin Films Group.   He is also active in the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC), and has served on the SVC Board of Directors, as the Program Chair of the SVC TechCons, and serves on numerous SVC committees and TACs. He was recently elected by the current SVC BOD as a “SVC Mentor” to the SVC Organization. He holds six patents and has presented a number of Invited Papers in International Forums.



Meeting Sponsor

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Fellows Night

This is the meeting where we honor those ASMI members in our area who have been recognized for their significant impact on the field of Materials by being named Fellow of the American Society for Materials International.  For any of these Fellows on distribution, please be welcome as our honored guest at this meeting.


Dr. Al Jacobs

Dr. Elliott Rennhack

Dr. John Schuyten

Prof. Reinhold H. Dauskardt

Dr. Alan Pelton

Mr. Elliot Willner

Dr. John Shyne

Mr. Richard Lewis

Dr. Alfred Goldberg

Dr. Enrique Lavernia

Dr. John Smugeresky

Dr. Richard Ryan

Dr. Amiya Mukherjee

Dr. Eugene Edwards

Dr. John Stringer

Mr. Robert Anderson

Mr. Anthony Cape

Dr. Frank Crossley

Dr. John W. Elmer

Dr. Robert D. Caligiuri

Dr. Brad James

Dr. Gareth Thomas

Dr. Joshi Anne

Dr. Robert Ritchie

Dr. Charles M. Packer

Dr. Gary Sandrock

Dr. Julie Schoenung

Dr. Roger H. Richman

Mr. Charles Rau

Dr. George Binczewski

Mr. Ken Challenger

Mr. Roger Perkins

Ms. Cheryl Hartfield

Dr. Gerald M. Gordon

Mr. Larry McKnight

Prof. Terry McNelley

Prof. Christopher Viney

Prof. Glaus Goetzel

Dr. Max Schlienger

Dr. T-G Nieh

Dr. Darel E. Hodgson

Dr. Howard Nelson

Dr. Mike Powers

Dr. Wallace Erichsen

Dr. David Schulz

Dr. James Shackelford

Dr. Neville Moody

Dr. Walter Littman

Dr. Donald A. Shockey

Dr. Jeff Wadsworth

Prof. Oleg D. Sherby

Dr. William C. Coons

Dr. Donald R. Lesuer

Dr. Joe Danko

Dr. Prodyot Roy

Prof. William D. Nix

Dr. Ed Burke

Dr. John Morris

Dr. Ramaswamy Viswanathan

Dr. Zuhair Munir



Joint Scholarship Deadline Extended !


The ASMI / SAMPE joint Scholarship for University Undergraduates in Materials has extended the application deadline to March 5th.  See the application at the end of this bulletin for more information.



Calendar of Events

Here is our Tentative plan for the season’s meeting speakers


Special Recognition



Feb 14

Fellows Night

LIGO Mirror Coating Challenges

Ric Shimshock

Feb 15

Engineers Night

SVEC Engineering Week Banquet

Tina Tsou

Mar 14


Additive Manufacturing and Mechanical Reliability

O. Keles, SJSU

Mar 15


County Science Fair Judging

Volunteers needed !

Apr 12

Trustee Night

Awards Night

Damage Tolerant Metals for Extreme Environments

Dr Ellen Cerreta

ASMI Trustee

May 9

Student Poster Night

Advancements in Glass Technology

Gary Trott,

Owens Corning



Other Events of possible interest to our audience:

SVEC Engineers Week Banquet 2018

"The Race to Neural-Class Networks"

Tina Tsou, Enterprise Architect, ARM

 Silicon Valley Engineering Council  

Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 5:30 PM

Santa Clara, CA



Announcing a Golden Gate Polymer Forum Two-Day Short Course:

March 5 and 6, 2018

Discounted advance registration ends February 9 ($650)

Regular full-price registration ends February 23 ($750)


Organized by the Golden Gate Polymer Forum

Industry experts from The Madison Group ( will describe common failure mechanisms of polymeric materials, problem-solving techniques, and test methods, including microscopy, spectroscopy, thermal analysis, molecular weight analysis, analytical chemistry and physical property testing.  Practical examples will be presented wherein multiple methods were used to determine how and why different types of polymeric components failed.  Several exhibitors will show the latest analytical instrumentation used for problem solving plastics-related failures and characterizing materials for new applications. For more information and to register visit


Every year ASMI and SAMPE team up to review and award Santa Clara County science fair entries in the Specialty category to help encourage students grade 6-12 to pursue materials science and engineering.

We are always looking forward to our fellow Silicon Valley Materials Technologist joining us for evaluating the science fair entries from the perspective of encouraging further studies in the materials fields.  This year the Science Fair will be held on Thursday March 15: Contact Al Kwong at (408) 248-1916 or  or Jack Jew at if you can take the day to assist us

Further Your Knowledge


Introduction to Metallurgical Lab Practices, September 23-25, 2019

Sep 23, 2019 - Sep 25, 2019

Mr. John Peppler

ASM World Headquarters - Materials Park,
Novelty, OH, USA

Introduction to Metallurgical Lab Practices, May 6-8, 2019

May 06, 2019 - May 08, 2019

Mr. John Peppler

ASM World Headquarters - Materials Park,
Novelty, OH, USA

Introduction to Metallurgical Lab Practices, December 9 - 11, 2019

Dec 09, 2019 - Dec 11, 2019

Mr. John Peppler

ASM World Headquarters - Materials Park,
Novelty, OH, United States


ASM Materials Engineering Camp - 2019

Jul 22, 2019 - Jul 25, 2019

Bradley University,
Peoria, IL, United States