This paper introduces the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technique and discusses its potential for preparation of optical coatings. Due to the self-limiting growth mechanism that arises from alternate saturating surface reactions, ALD possesses several features which make it an attractive technique for depositing optical thin films: simple and accurate thickness control, uniformity over large area substrates, conformality, good reproducibility and straightforward scale-up. The main drawback of the method is low deposition rate but this can be compensated, at least to some extent, by efficient large batch processing.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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