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Optical properties of stochastic subwavelength surface structures

: Leitel, R.; Kaless, A.; Petschulat, J.; Schulz, U.; Stenzel, O.; Kaiser, N.


Duparre, A. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Optical fabrication, testing, and metrology II : 13 - 15 September 2005, Jena, Germany
Bellingham/Wash.: SPIE, 2005 (SPIE Proceedings Series 5965)
ISBN: 0-8194-5983-6
Conference "Optical Fabrication, Testing, and Metrology" <2005, Jena>
Fraunhofer IOF ()
polymer; subwavelength nanostructure; effective medium theory; antireflection; absorber

High transparent thermoplastics have the capability to put glass out of business, especially in everyday life's optics. Their diverse nature gives rise to different antireflection principles. The reduction of surface reflection losses in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is demonstrated by means of argon/oxygen plasma treatment. Since the presented reduction of reflection occurs in a wide spectral range, the technique may be applied for omnidirectional devices or curved substrates. The etching process creates a self-organized stochastic subwavelength structure at the substrate itself. The decrease in reflection is described by effective medium theory (EMT), converting the surface topology into a depth-dependent filling factor profile. In a second step this nano-scaled structure is used as the initial point for a broadband absorber by coating it with a nontransparent metal layer. A high-efficient absorber can be obtained, if the metal acts as backside coating of the double-sided plasma-treated substrate and steady-going transitions between the materials eliminating the Fresnel reflections. In practice, the magnitude of absorption depends on depth of structure as well as on the complex refractive index of the metal.