Abstract

Antireflective coatings are widely applied on transparent optical components to reduce reflections at surfaces. Nanoporous silica (NP ${{\rm SiO}_{2}}$) thin films with tailored refractive index properties are used as single-layer antireflective coatings providing nearly zero reflectivity. In this work, light scattering properties of nanoporous silica single-layer antireflective coatings are investigated in order to determine their optical quality by means of total scattering and detailed roughness analysis. Scattering and roughness characterization of the samples coated with different film thicknesses were realized to distinguish the influences of nanopores and surface roughness on scattering losses in the visible (VIS) spectral range. No significant correlation of scattering losses with the film thickness is found, showing negligible influence of the nanopores to the overall scattering properties compared with the dominating effect of interface roughness. Moreover, the scattering losses from coated fused silica glass were observed as low as 20 ppm (0.002%). It is confirmed that NP ${{\rm SiO}_{2}}$ single-layer antireflective coatings are suitable to be used in optics demanding extremely low scattering characteristics.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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