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Sequential Infiltration Synthesis for the Design of Low Refractive Index Surface Coatings with Controllable Thickness

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journal contribution
posted on 31.01.2017, 00:00 by Diana Berman, Supratik Guha, Byeongdu Lee, Jeffrey W. Elam, Seth B. Darling, Elena V. Shevchenko
Control over refractive index and thickness of surface coatings is central to the design of low refraction films used in applications ranging from optical computing to antireflective coatings. Here, we introduce gas-phase sequential infiltration synthesis (SIS) as a robust, powerful, and efficient approach to deposit conformal coatings with very low refractive indices. We demonstrate that the refractive indices of inorganic coatings can be efficiently tuned by the number of cycles used in the SIS process, composition, and selective swelling of the of the polymer template. We show that the refractive index of Al2O3 can be lowered from 1.76 down to 1.1 using this method. The thickness of the Al2O3 coating can be efficiently controlled by the swelling of the block copolymer template in ethanol at elevated temperature, thereby enabling deposition of both single-layer and graded-index broadband antireflective coatings. Using this technique, Fresnel reflections of glass can be reduced to as low as 0.1% under normal illumination over a broad spectral range.