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Langmuir. 2013 Mar 5;29(9):3089-96. doi: 10.1021/la4000999. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Multifunctional surfaces with outstanding mechanical stability on glass substrates by simple H2SiF6-based vapor etching.

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Functional Nanomaterials Laboratory and Key Laboratory of Photochemical Conversion and Optoelectronic Materials, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongguancundonglu 29, Haidianqu, Beijing 100190, China.


Mechanically robust antireflective glass surfaces play an important role in the performance of many optical and optoelectronic devices. In this paper, we have demonstrated a simple method to create a high performance wide-range antireflective layer on glass surface by H2SiF6-based vapor etching at low temperature (5-20 °C). The maximum transmittance of 99.0% was achieved under optimal etching conditions. Scratch tests showed that the surface had excellent mechanical strength, and its pencil hardness is above 6H. After 2 month outdoor exposure, the as-etched glass showed remarkable stability in their antireflection property. The as-etched glass was endowed superhydrophilic and antifogging property after annealing and O2-plasma treatment, which provide an additional advantage for operating outdoors or in high-humidity environments. The composition, morphology, and formation mechanism of the hierarchically nanostructured surface were discussed in detail on the basis of experimental results. A new mechanism was proposed to account for the etching-morphology relationship.

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