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Opt Lett. 2006 Mar 1;31(5):601-3.

Very low-refractive-index optical thin films consisting of an array of SiO2 nanorods.

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  • 1Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, USA.


The refractive-index contrast in dielectric multilayer structures, optical resonators, and photonic crystals is an important figure of merit that creates a strong demand for high-quality thin films with a low refractive index. A SiO2 nanorod layer with low refractive index of n = 1.08, to our knowledge the lowest ever reported in thin-film materials, is grown by oblique-angle electron-beam deposition of SiO2. A single-pair distributed Bragg reflector employing a SiO2 nanorod layer is demonstrated to have enhanced reflectivity, showing the great potential of low-refractive-index films for applications in photonic structures and devices.

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