Recently a new class of optical interference coatings was introduced which comprises ultra-thin, highly absorbing dielectric layers on metal substrates. We show that these lossy coatings can be augmented by an additional transparent subwavelength layer. We fabricated a sample comprising a gold substrate, an ultra-thin film of germanium with a thickness gradient, and several alumina films. The experimental reflectivity spectra showed that the additional alumina layer increases the color range that can be obtained, in agreement with calculations. More generally, this transparent layer can be used to enhance optical absorption, protect against erosion, or as a transparent electrode for optoelectronic devices.
Enhancement of absorption and color contrast in ultra-thin highly absorbing optical coatings
Mikhail A. Kats, Steven J. Byrnes, Romain Blanchard, Mathias Kolle, Patrice Genevet, Joanna Aizenberg, Federico Capasso; Enhancement of absorption and color contrast in ultra-thin highly absorbing optical coatings. Appl. Phys. Lett. 2 September 2013; 103 (10): 101104. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4820147
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