Optical coatings have been referred as thin films that create interference effect to change optical properties of substrates. The most common applications of optical thin films are anti-reflection coatings, high reflective coatings, beamsplitter coatings, and bandpass filter coatings. In the recent development of metamaterials, the optical coatings also play a critical role in design, fabrication and measurement. In fabrication, glancing angle deposition has been applied to grow slanted metal nanorod arrays. The associated longitudinal plasmon and transverse plasmon modes under linear polarized illuminations are induced and generate anisotropic refractive index and extinction coefficient. Strong birefringence of a silver nanorod array reveals positive and negative real refractive indices exist for two orthogonal linear polarization states.
Recently, negative index materials and hyperbolic metamaterials are realized as multilayers comprising subwavelength-scale metal and dielectric films alternatively. From the view of optical coatings, the design of optical edge filters can be applied to arrange the metal-dielectric multilayer as a symmetrical film sack to perform equivalent complex admittance and refractive index. On the other hand, the traditional admittance diagram used in design of antireflection and bandpass filters can be applied to induce the transmission of a negative index multilayer. The admittance loci of metal films are designed to be huge contours in the admittance diagram to reduce the energy loss in metal films. Five-layered symmetrical film stack and seven-layered symmetrical film stack are shown here to present as new bandpass filters with negative real refractive indices.
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