High-reflectance composite metal coatings for planar-integrated free-space optics

Matthias Gruber, Thomas Seiler, An Chi Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


For planar-integrated free-space optical (PIFSO) systems high-reflectance thin-film coatings are crucial. Evaporated metal films are preferred for their relative technological simplicity. We propose a three-layer Al-Ag-Al coating composition that combines the high reflectance of Ag with the chemical passivity of Al and its good adherence to glass. Two special measures are taken to prevent delamination: one is an anchoring of the edges of the coating in narrow ditches that are etched into the substrate and the other is the use of an adhesive Al underlayer; to reduce absorption this underlayer is implemented only in sparsely distributed discrete areas. The optical properties of such composite coatings are investigated theoretically. The fabrication complexity is only slightly increased compared to PIFSO systems with one-layer Al reflectors. In experimental tests we verified a reflectance of approximately 98% and an adherence comparable to that of simple Al coatings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-667
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2006


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