Fused Silica Fibers

To improve our room temperature experiments we engineered fused silica torsion fibers. These fibers increase the sensitivity of our experiments (equivalence principle test and torsion balance dark matter search) by a factor of 10 in the short term and theoretically well over a factor of 100 is possible. We have started to demonstrate the usefulness of these fibers for our experiments and much research can be done to improve their quality. Currently, we can pull fibers from rod stock melted by a CO2 laser that are as thin as 10 microns in diameter with lengths up to 1 m. Some examples of research directions that are being considered are: improving manufacturing techniques (polishing, handling, and pulling process), using higher purity fused silica, and improving characterization of the fibers.