Enhancement in broadband and quasi-omnidirectional antireflection of nanopillar arrays by ion milling.

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Nanotechnology, ISSN: 1361-6528, Vol: 23, Issue: 27, Page: 275703

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Huang, Zhifeng; Hawkeye, Matthew M.; Brett, Michael J.
IOP Publishing
Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; Materials Science; Engineering
article description
A new technique is developed to fabricate biomimetic antireflection coatings (ARCs). This technique combines a bottom-up fabrication approach (glancing angle deposition, or GLAD) with a top-down engineering process (ion milling). The GLAD technique is first utilized to produce nanopillar arrays (NPAs) with broadened structures, which are subsequently transformed into biomimetic tapered geometries by means of post-deposition ion milling. This structure transformation, due to milling-induced mass redistribution, remarkably decreases reflection over a wide wavelength range (300-1700 nm) and field of view (angle of incidence < 60° with respect to the substrate normal). The milling-induced antireflection enhancement has been demonstrated in the NPAs made of Si, SiO(x) and TiO(2), illustrating that this integrated technique is readily adapted to a wide variety of materials. Good agreement between simulation and experiment indicates that the enhanced antireflection performance is ascribed to a smoother refractive index transition from the substrate to the air, which improves the impedance match and reduces reflection losses. Additionally, ion bombardment tends to alter the stoichiometry and diminish the crystallographic structure of the NPA materials. The broadband and quasi-omnidirectional antireflection observed establishes the strong competitiveness of this technique with the methods previously reported.