Anti-reflective coating or simply referred to as AR coating is an optical coating that decreases the amount of reflection from the surface, optimizing the performance of an optical system. It is usually applied to optical components such as laser windows, lenses, mirrors, optical filters, optical prisms, polarizing optics, and everyday accessories like sunglasses.
Moth eye, single-layer interference, and multi-layer interference are just a few types of anti-reflective coatings available today. They basically work to enhance the efficiency of the optics through improving the contrast, increasing the light transmission, and diminishing the presence of ghost images.
One of the best things about an AR coating is its durability. It is able to sustain deformations caused by environmental and physical factors, and for such reason, a lot of optical transmissions come with a certain type of AR optical coating.
When you are looking for the appropriate AR coating to use for your optical system, it is ideal that you are completely aware of your system’s spectral range. Although an anti-reflective coating maximizes the performance of your optical system, it can potentially reduce the efficiency when an AR coating is utilized at certain wavelengths outside of the system’s wavelength range.
Common Applications of AR Coating
Apparently, anti-reflective coatings are used in various applications, but they are particularly useful in fields where there is a need for light to pass through the surfaces of an optical system. You may need to have AR coatings if you wish to have a low amount of reflection to make your optical system work.
However, the most common applications of AR coating are found on corrective lenses like eyeglasses and contact lenses, camera lenses, and solar cells. Aside from that, the coatings are used in creating coated windows, laser glass windows, slight glasses, optical scanners, contrast enhancers, front glasses, and a whole lot more.
Special Properties of AR Coating
AR coatings primarily reduce the reflection from the surfaces of optical components. However, they have special properties that help any type of optical system become more efficient and more durable than the standard types of optical instruments. These special properties are the following:
- Low Residual Reflection – Anti-reflective coatings have a residual reflection that is lower than the average level.
- High Visible Light Transmittance – Due to its low residual reflection, an AR coating is able to transmit visible light effectively.
- Low Absorption Of Light – AR coatings won’t hurt your eyes or any part of your body because they can only absorb less light.