A method of manufacturing optical coatings for germanium optics used at terahertz frequencies has been developed. The various optical coatings used at terahertz frequencies are difficult to manufacture conventionally because these coatings must be as thick as several tens of micrometers, which is far thicker than those used in the optical region. One way to overcome this problem is to form a silicon oxide layer through plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor deposition, with silane (SiH4) as a source gas. Using this method, I formed 21-μm-thick silicon oxide films as antireflection (AR) layers for germanium optics and obtained low reflection at 1.7 THz (wavelength, λ = 175 μm). This method is easily applied to large-aperture optics and micro-optics as well as to optics with a complex surface form. The AR coatings can also be formed for photoconductive detectors made from germanium doped with gallium at a low temperature (160 °C); this low temperature ensures that the doped impurities in the germanium do not diffuse. Fabrication of optical coatings upon substrates that have refractive indices of 3.84–11.7 may also be possible by control of the refractive indices of the deposited layers.
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