, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 239-245

Studies on thin film materials on acrylics for optical applications

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Abstract

Deposition of durable thin film coatings by vacuum evaporation on acrylic substrates for optical applications is a challenging job. Films crack upon deposition due to internal stresses and leads to performance degradation. In this investigation, we report the preparation and characterization of single and multi-layer films of TiO2, CeO2, Substance2 (E Merck, Germany), Al2O3, SiO2 and MgF2 by electron beam evaporation on both glass and PMMA substrates. Optical micrographs taken on single layer films deposited on PMMA substrates did not reveal any cracks. Cracks in films were observed on PMMA substrates when the substrate temperature exceeded 80°C. Antireflection coatings of 3 and 4 layers have been deposited and characterized. Antireflection coatings made on PMMA substrate using Substance2 (H2) and SiO2 combination showed very fine cracks when observed under microscope. Optical performance of the coatings has been explained with the help of optical micrographs.