Abstract

What we believe to be a new principle is introduced for the design and selection of gradient-index antireflection profiles that are effective over a wide range of incident angles as well as wavelengths at a given physical film thickness. It is shown that at oblique incidence the smoothness of the optical path of incident light inside a gradient-index film has a crucial effect on the overall reflection. Thus the smoothness of variations in refractive angle (rather than that of the index profile itself) needs to be maximized for wide-angle operation. As an example, the performance of Gaussian and Quintic profiles at large incident angles are considered in light of this point of view.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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