Abstract

Mechanical and thermoelastic properties of optical films are very important to ensure the performance of optical interference filters and optical coating systems. We systematically study the growth and the mechanical and thermoelastic characteristics of niobium oxide (Nb2O5), tantalum oxide (Ta2O5), and silicon dioxide (SiO2) thin films prepared by dual ion beam sputtering. First, we investigate the stress (σ), hardness (H), reduced Young’s modulus (Er), and scratch resistance. Second, we focus on the methodology and assessment of the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and Poisson’s ratio (ν) using the two-substrate method. For the high refractive index films, namely, Nb2O5 (nat550nm=2.30) and Ta2O5 (nat550nm=2.13), we obtained H6GPa, Er125GPa, CTE=4.9×106°C1, ν=0.22, and H7GPa, Er133GPa, CTE=4.4×106°C1, and ν=0.27, respectively. In comparison, for SiO2 (nat550nm=1.48), these values are H9.5GPa, Er87GPa, CTE=2.1×106°C1, and ν=0.11. Correlations between the growth conditions (secondary beam ion energy and ion current), the micro structure, and the film properties are discussed.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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