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Ultralow-refractive-index optical thin films through nanoscale etching of ordered mesoporous silica films

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Abstract

A great deal of intensive research has been conducted to obtain high-quality transparent ultralow-refractive-index and ultralow-dielectric-constant thin films for microptics and microelectronics applications. Here, we report a simple procedure to prepare highly porous silica thin films with high optical quality and water resistance through nano-etching of mesoporous silica films followed by fluoroalkylsilane surface modification. The films possess an ultralow refractive index of 1.03 (800 nm) and an ultralow dielectric constant of 1.30 (100 kHz), to our knowledge the lowest values ever reported in thin film materials. The films are superhydrophobic (water contact angle=156deg), thus exhibit high moisture stability.

©2012 Optical Society of America

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