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20 August 2015 Wideband antireflection coatings combining interference multilayers and subwavelength structures prepared by reactive ion etching
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To further reduce the intensity of the Fresnel reflections of optical components, subwavelength structures prepared by reactive ion etching of SiO2 thin films are combined as outermost layer with a multilayer system made of conventional thin film materials and prepared by magnetron sputtering. In this approach, a hybrid coating is realized in which the nanoscaled structured outermost layer is expected to further improve the antireflection properties of common interference stacks. The subwavelength structures are examined by spectroscopic ellipsometry, spectral photometry and scanning electron microscopy. The microscopic and optical spectroscopic analysis revealed that pillar-shaped nanostructures are formed during etching which exhibit low-index properties and have a depth-dependent refractive index. To take into account the index gradient in the coating design, the optical properties of the nanostructures are modeled using the effective medium approximation. The calculated average effective refractive index is 1.11 at 500 nm wavelength. A hybrid coating was designed to minimize the residual reflectance in the 400 – 900 nm spectral range for BK7 glass substrate. Experimental results showed that the hybrid coating achieves a low residual reflectance with very good omni-directional properties, owing to the properties of its nanostructured surface. The residual reflection of the hybrid coating is found to be two times smaller than the reflection obtained by applying a common interference multilayer system which demonstrates the benefit of the use of hybrid systems for the realization of broadband antireflective coatings with wide-angle properties.
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S. Bruynooghe, M. Helgert, M. Challier, D. Tonova, M. Sundermann, T. Koch, A. Gatto, M. Schulze, and E.-B. Kley "Wideband antireflection coatings combining interference multilayers and subwavelength structures prepared by reactive ion etching", Proc. SPIE 9558, Nanostructured Thin Films VIII, 955804 (20 August 2015);

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