Broadband Antireflection Graded-Index Coating
In an important 1962 paper,
one of the coatings discussed by the author is a step-graded-index antireflection coating for germanium. This coating consists of 20 quarter-wave layers whose indices vary linearly from 1.35 (the lowest practical index available) to 4 (the index of germanium), as illustrated below.
The coating has a very broad wavelength range over which the reflectance is low. The question arises: is the linear profile the best possible? We can use optimization to explore this problem. Here we use a feature unique to TFCalc -- the capability of optimizing the reflective index while keeping the optical thickness fixed. We use one continuous optimization target: R=0 for 3-20 microns. To make the reflectance as flat as possible, we set the power in the merit function to 16. Surprisingly, the resulting index profile looks like part of a sine curve:
The performance of the optimized design is significantly better. The reflectances of the two designs are shown below.
Here is the list of refractive indices in the optimized design, starting with the layer
closest to the germanium substrate:
1 3.9356 2 3.7482 3 3.3986 4 2.9121 5 2.3790 6 1.9044 7 1.5598 8 1.3726 9 1.3500 10 1.5042 11 1.8606 12 2.4315 13 3.1456 14 3.7738 15 4.0000 16 3.6871 17 3.0181 18 2.3016 19 1.7310 20 1.3500The reference wavelength for the quarter-wave optical thickness is 5.217 microns, which is the midpoint, in the frequency scale, between 3 and 20 microns.
Note: by using more layers, designs with more cycles of the sine curve can be found. However, the additional cycles do not improve the performance as dramatically as above.
Download DesignYou may download the Berning design and watch how TFCalc optimizes it. You will need a real copy (i.e., not a demo) of TFCalc. Click here for the Windows or Macintosh file. This design assumes that you have a substrate called G whose index is 4. The G substrate was installed with the TFCalc software.
Windows users, when they download this file, will have to save it to disk. Be sure to save it with extension ".TFD".
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