Abstract

Although quarter-wave multilayer dielectric coatings (QW MLDC’s) usually offer the highest reflectivity possible at a single wavelength, this may not be the case at grazing angles of incidence. For incident angles greater than the Brewster angle, the p-polarization absorption can easily be several orders of magnitude higher than the s-polarization absorption because of the destructive interference between the reflection from the superstrate–top-layer interface and the rest of the coating. An analytic approach is developed for designing optimum reflectivity coatings at grazing angles of incidence once the fraction of s- and p-polarized light is given. These coatings can give at least an order-of-magnitude reduction over QW MLDC’s in total coating absorption, even for the case when less than 0 1% of the incident radiation is p polarized. The absorption of the designs found from the analytic results compares favorably with designs generated using numerical methods of nonlinear optimization Expressions are also developed for calculating the sensitivity of high-reflectivity quarter-wave stacks to coating thickness error.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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