High-reflective coatings are indispensable in order to manufacture mirrors with highest possible reflectivity. The maximum reflectivity can be achieved by all-dielectric coatings; however, the spectral bandwidth of these mirrors is limited. For astronomical applications metal based coatings (Al, Au, Ag) are commonly applied, as they allow high reflectivity and at the same time a broad spectral bandwidth.
Antireflective coatings are essential to improve transmittance of optical elements. Most research and development of AR coatings has been reported on a wide variety of plane optical surfaces; however, antireflection is also necessary on nonplanar optical surfaces. Physical vapor deposition (PVD), a common method for optical coatings, often results in thickness gradients on strongly curved surfaces, leading to a failure of the desired optical function. In this work, optical thin films of tantalum pentoxide, aluminum oxide and silicon dioxide were prepared by atomic layer deposition (ALD), which is based on self-limiting surface reactions. The results demonstrate that ALD optical layers can be deposited on both vertical and horizontal substrate surfaces with uniform thicknesses and the same optical properties. A Ta2O5/Al2O3/ SiO2 multilayer AR coating (400-700 nm) was successfully applied to a curved aspheric glass lens with a diameter of 50 mm and a center thickness of 25 mm.
This study focuses on the atomic layer deposition (ALD) of high quality SiO2 thin films for optical application. One of the challenges for the application of dielectric ALD layers in optical coatings is the realization of low absorption and scattering losses. Furthermore the layers have to be prepared with a precise controlled thickness and repeatable optical properties. SiO2 films were deposited using tris[dimethylamino]silane (3DMAS) and oxygen plasma on Si(100)substrates, quartz and BK7 glass substrates at temperatures between 100 °C and 300 °C. Film growth rate and refractive indices of SiO2 thin films were studied as function of deposition temperature. A linear growth behavior of SiO2 ALD films is confirmed, allowing a scalability of film thickness just by counting ALD cycles. The grown films are resistant to abrasion and possess good adhesion to glass substrates. The optical losses of the films are negligible in the investigated spectral range from 250 nm to 1100 nm. An antireflective (AR) coating was prepared by atomic layer deposition using SiO2 as low refractive index material and HfO2 as high refractive index material.
In this study, Al2O3:SiO2 composite films were grown using atomic layer deposition (ALD) with the thicknesses of Al2O3 and SiO2 being between 1 Å - 20 Å. The composition of the films was varied by changing the relative number of ALD cycles from 1 to 20. The optical properties of the layers were investigated with spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE). The experimental refractive indices of the composite films with Al2O3 and SiO2 ALD cycles of 1-10 were shown to be higher than the calculated values. This was attributed to the hampered growth of the SiO2 during the first ALD cycles. On the other hand, the experimental and calculated refractive indices of the mixture 20 cycles:20 cycles agreed very well indicating a nanolaminate behavior. Selective etching of the alloys 1:1 and 2:2 resulted in a nanoporous SiO2 films. The refractive index of the final porous SiO2 films was dependent on the thickness of the initial alloy layer.
In this study, we present high efficiency embedded gratings produced by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The chosen embedding material is a nanolaminate, which consists of alternating arranged titanium dioxide (TiO2) and alumina (Al2O3) layers, where the TiO2 layers are by a factor of 25 thicker than the Al2O3 layers. Consequently, the refractive index nearly equal to the refractive index of pure TiO2 layers. Titanium dioxide has one of the highest refractive index among dielectrics and no absorption at the operating wavelength.
A pinhole free embedding of the grating is essential, since even tiny air pockets will reduce the efficiency of the diffraction optic. This has been successfully realized. However, the ALD coating produces indentations on the surface of the embedded grating. The method to remove the indentations in the excess layer on the embedded grating is discussed. The planarization is done by ion beam etching and the oxygen depletion of the top TiO2 component is fixed by thermal treatment in O2 atmosphere.
Finally, we developed an embedded grating with transmission efficiency higher than 97.0 % at 1030 nm wavelength. The experimentally measured efficiency is in excellent agreement with the theoretical value obtained by rigorous coupled wave analysis. In contrast, a conventional, binary grating with the same period reaches only a maximum theoretical efficiency of 92.3 % at the same wavelength in Littrow-configuration.
Developments and advances in the e-beam lithography (EBL) made it possible to reach resolutions in a single digit
nanometer range in the soft x-ray microscopy using Fresnel Zone Plates (FZP). However, it is very difficult to fabricate
efficient FZPs for hard x-rays via this conventional fabrication technique due to limitations in the achievable aspect
ratios. Here, we demonstrate the use of alternative fabrication techniques that depend on utilization of atomic layer
deposition and focused ion beam processing to deliver FZPs that are efficient for the hard X-ray range.
Advances in the deposition of metallic thin films are discussed. The ALD growth of ultrathin Ir films is analyzed by
transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and optical and
electrical measurements. The morphology of iridium metallic layers is assessed based on Ir/ Al2O3 nanolaminate films.
High resolution transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy measurements show sharp
interfaces and pure Ir layers in the nanolaminates. The iridium films as polycrystalline. Excellent thickness control, high
uniformity and low roughness of ALD films are demonstrated. Four point probe measurements of the resistivity of Ir
coatings with various thicknesses have been performed and proved conductive layers with an Ir film thickness of ca. 10
nm. The optical properties of the Ir films deposited by ALD are similar to those of the bulk Ir. Thin iridum layers
deposited on high aspect ratio linear gratings have been successfully used as electrodes in the electrochemical deposition
of gold nanoparticles and gold layers. The gold deposition evolves through the formation of gold islands with ca. 40 nm
diameters that coalesce after ca. 60 seconds deposition. The density of the gold islands within the grating pattern is much
lower than on the flat region of the substrate. The combination of ALD with electrochemical deposition allows the
diversification of conductive layers on complex nanostructured surfaces.