Intrinsic stress and microstructure of mixed composition films were investigated for several binary systems of IR optical materials. These properties were measured for the entire range of compositions and for mixing obtained by codeposition and by layering of alternate pure components. The variation of stress with composition was observed to be significantly different, depending on the method of mixing. Microstructural analysis revealed a corresponding difference in the grain structure of the films. Low compressive stress films were obtained by coevaporation of high tensile stress materials. These can be used to produce thick and mechanically stable gradient-index optical coatings.
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