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Robust Operation of Mesoporous Antireflective Coatings under Variable Ambient Conditions

Reid, Barry, Taylor, Alaric, Chen, Yinong, Schmidt-Hansberg, Benjamin, Guldin, Stefan
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2018 v.10 no.12 pp. 10315-10321
coatings, composite polymers, environmental factors, gases, porous media, refractive index, relative humidity, silane, transmittance, wavelengths
Generating mesoporous films with adequate film thickness and refractive index is a common method to achieve amplitude and phase matching in low-cost interference-based antireflective coatings (ARCs). For high-surface-energy materials, pores on the 2–50 nm (i.e., on the subwavelength scale) are subject to capillary condensation by surrounding gas phase water molecules, which hampers their functioning. In this work, we examine the effect of relative humidity on mesoporous ARCs and present a simple method for the preparation of ARCs with robust operation under variable conditions. The materials route is based on the generation of well-defined porous aluminosilicate networks by block copolymer co-assembly with poly(isobutylene)-block-poly(ethylene oxide) and postsynthesis grafting of trichloro(octyl)silane molecules to the pore walls. The functionalized films exhibited a maximum transmittance value of 99.8%, with an average transmittance of 99.1% in the visible wavelength range from 400 to 700 nm. Crucially, the antireflection performance was maintained at high humidity values, with an average transmittance decrease of only 0.2% and maximum values maintained at 99.7%. This compared to maximum and average losses of 3.6 and 2.7%, respectively, for nonfunctionalized reference samples. The ARCs were shown to retain their optical properties within 50 humidity cycles, indicating long-term stability against fluctuating environmental conditions.