Thin films of SiO2, TiO2, Ta2O5, ZrO2, and the mixed oxide H4 (Merck) have been deposited onto nonheated glass substrates by electron-beam evaporation in commercial coating plants. All depositions have been carried out with ion assistance provided by three different ion or plasma sources (end-hall, plasma, and cold-cathode sources). The optical film properties such as index of refraction, extinction coefficient, light scattering, and absorption have been examined by spectrophotometry, laser calorimetry, and total integrated light-scatter measurements. Surface morphology has been investigated by atomic force microscopy studies. Furthermore, films have undergone sand erosion tests for the determination of relative wear resistance. The film properties are compared for the three different ion sources.
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