Zirconium oxyfluoride thin films of varying composition and refractive index were made by ion beam assisted deposition and concurrent O+2 ion bombardment of thermally deposited ZrF4. The oxygen ion bombardment parameters control the index of refraction over the range 1.52–1.8. The composition of the ZrOxFy films, as determined by Rutherford backscattering and x‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy, varied from ZrO0.4F3.6 to ZrO2F1. Below 300 eV there is little change in oxygen content or refractive index, but at 600 eV the bombardment flux controls the material properties. Low loss (1 dB/cm) optical wave guides were fabricated using this technique.

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