Self-Assembled Multilayered Dielectric Spectral Filters

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Virginia Tech

Thin film optical filters are made by depositing thin films of optical materials on a substrate in such a way as to produce the required optical and mechanical properties. The Electrostatic Self Assembly (ESA) process is accomplished by the alternate adsorption of poly-anionic and poly-cationic molecules on progressive oppositely charged surfaces. This technique offers several advantages such as ease of fabrication, molecular level uniformity, stable multilayer synthesis and avoidance of the need for a vacuum environment. The ESA process offers an excellent choice for manufacturing optical thin film coatings due to its capability to incorporate multiple properties into films at the molecular level and its ability to be a fast and inexpensive process. The ESA process, as a method for manufacturing optical thin film filters has been investigated in detail in this thesis. A specific design was made and analyzed using TFCalc, a commercial thin film design software. Sensitivity analysis detailing the changes in filter response to errors in thickness and refractive index produced by the ESA process were done. These proved that with a high level of quality control, highly reliable and accurate optical thin films can be made by the ESA process.

Needle Filters, Optical Thin Films, Electro Static Self-Assembly, Dielectric stack filter