Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.555, 124-131, 2019
Surface free energy and microstructure dependent environmental stability of sol-gel SiO2 antireflective coatings: Effect of combined vapor phase surface treatment
Environmental stability is of great interest for sol-gel porous antireflective (AR) coatings. In this work, sol-gel silica AR coatings with excellent environmental stability were prepared via ammonia vapor treatment (AVT) combined with organosilane (hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) or hexadecyltrimethoxysilane (HTMS)) vapor treatment. The surface free energy (SFE) of the coatings treated with different approaches was estimated through Owens-Wendt method combined with Wenzel equation from the contact angles of water, glycerol and diiodomethane. Scanning electron microscope and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were employed to study the surface morphology and chemical composition of the silica coatings treated with different methods. The silica coatings treated by combined vapor phase method possess the SFE of 24.11 mJ.m(-2) for N-HD-SiO2 and 34.18 mJ.m(-2) for N-HT-SiO2. After being placed in a 90%RH humid environment for 2 months, the peak transmittance of BK7 glasses coated with N-HD-SiO2 and N-HT-SiO2 only decreases by 0.58% and 0.95%, respectively. Meanwhile, N-HD-SiO2 and N-HT-SiO2 coated BK7 glasses also show quite stable optical transmittance after exposure to a vacuum oil environment for 2 months. The mechanism of the combined vapor phase surface treatment is discussed based on the combination analysis of surface morphology, chemical composition and SFE of the coatings. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.