Dielectric coatings are commonly deposited onto large-area glass substrates via the magnetron sputtering process. High refractive index materials such as titania and zinc oxide are employed in a wide range of multilayer coating systems, some of which can experience problems with coating durability. A standard magnetron sputtering system has been enhanced via the inclusion of a Hall-current-type ion source, which has been used for the pretreatment of the glass substrate surfaces prior to deposition. Resulting TiO2 and ZnO films exhibited substantial improvements in mechanical durability (up to 80% increase in critical load and 200% increase in wear resistance, as compared with those grown on untreated glass) with no detrimental effect to their optical performance. These improvements to coating performance, along with the suitability of the ion source to inclusion in commercial coaters, demonstrate a potential for significant benefit to the large-area glass coating industry.

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