Variable refractive index optical coatings

Yadava, V. N. ; Sharma, S. K. ; Chopra, K. L. (1973) Variable refractive index optical coatings Thin Solid Films, 17 (2). pp. 243-252. ISSN 0040-6090

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The discrete and restricted values of refractive index of the bulk optical materials at present available are a serious limitation on the usefulness of these materials for optical coatings. This limitation can be overcome by utilizing the atom-by-atom condensation feature of the growth of vapour-deposited thin films, which allows the homogeneous mixing of different materials irrespective of their solubility restrictions. We have used this feature of co-deposition of different materials to form mixed optical materials of variable refractive index, the variation being determined by the composition of the source material. Measurements of the optical constants of these films, prepared by co-evaporation of mixtures of ZnS and MgF2 of various compositions, have been made. The refractive index of the mixed films is found to be in good agreement with the values predicted on the basis of the Lorentz-Lorentz theory. In addition, the optical equivalence of alternate layers of ZnS and MgF2 with step thicknesses ranging from 5 to 250 Å has been studied. For step thicknesses less than 100 Å, the optical properties of the composite films are equivalent to those for the homogeneously mixed films. For larger step thicknesses, considerable and complicated interference effects are observed. Thus, variable refractive index composite films can be prepared by (a) co-deposition and (b) deposition of alternate discrete layers of different materials as long as the step thickness does not exceed about 100 Å. Furthermore, these techniques of obtaining optical films of mixed materials can be extended to any combination of materials and therefore they open up a new field in materials technology.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
ID Code:22979
Deposited On:25 Nov 2010 13:44
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