It is possible to design normal-incidence antireflection coatings that reduce the reflectance of any substrate with a refractive index that lies in the range of 1.48 to 1.75. The performance of such coatings depends on the width of the spectral region over which the reflectance is to be suppressed, on the coating materials used for their construction, and on the overall optical thickness of the layer system. For example, the calculated average spectral reflectance of a set of six different substrates with refractive indices 1.48, 1.55, 1.60, 1.65, 1.70, and 1.75, when coated with a 0.56-μm-thick, eight-layer antireflection coating designed for the 0.40–0.80-μm spectral region, was 0.34%. This is higher than the average reflectance that is attainable with a conventional antireflection coating of similar optical thicknesses designed for a particular refractive index. However, it is an acceptable value for most applications. With the universal type of antireflection coating described, it is thus possible to coat a number of different refractive-index substrates in one deposition run, and this can result in considerable cost and time savings.
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