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Optical properties of unprotected and protected sputtered silver films: Surface morphology versus UV/VIS reflectance

: Jobst, Paul Johannes; Stenzel, Olaf; Modsching, N.; Yulin, Sergiy; Wilbrandt, Steffen; Schürmann, Mark; Gäbler, Dieter; Kaiser, Norbert; Tünnermann, Andreas


Advanced Optical Technologies 3 (2014), Nr.1, S.91-102
ISSN: 2192-8584
ISSN: 2192-8576
Fraunhofer IOF ()
mixing model; protected mirror; reflectance spectra; silver; sputter deposition

The optical properties of opaque sputtered silver films are investigated and related to their surface morphology. As reference, an evaporated sample produced by thermal flash evaporation has been studied, too. Standard optical and electrical characterizations as well as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray reflectometry have been carried out with unprotected silver films directly after deposition and reveal strong correlations between the corresponding characterization results. The aging behavior of the normal incidence reflectance has been studied over a time period of 36 weeks. Protected silver mirrors have been prepared by sputtering using silica and alumina as the protective coating. It is shown by model calculations that the main spectral features occurring in the reflectance spectra of as-deposited unprotected coatings, unprotected coatings after aging, and protected coatings can be reproduced assuming a rough silver surface covered by a corresponding ultrathin absorbing interface layer or overlayer.