Silver is a noble metal. However, corrosion activators (e.g. S and Cl) can lead to corrosion. Thus, a protective layer is required to prevent the corrosion and sustain the high reflectivity of the mirror. However, damage of the Ag-coating can occur, even in the case of protected-Ag. Inhomogeneous film growth of the protective layer can lead to a permeation of corrosion activators and thus to a damage of the Ag. But also the deposition of impervious protective layers is not sufficient for long-term environmental stability. Hygroscopic air borne particles can weaken the protection and therefore subsequently lead to a permeation of corrosion activators and thus to a damage of the Ag.
These damage mechanisms lead to criteria for a durable and efficient protection. AlOxNy and nanolaminates have been tested with respect to these criteria. In particular the protection based on nanolaminates shows a great potential for the protection of Ag. In addition, also the optical performance can be improved by UV-enhancement based on different nanolaminates.