Conventional single layer thin anti-reflective coatings (ARCs) are only suitable for narrowband applications. A multilayer film stack is often employed for broadband applications. A coating of multiple layers with alternating low and high refractive index materials increases the overall cost of the system. This makes multilayer ARCs unsuitable for low-cost broadband applications. Since the discovery of moth-eye corneal nipple patterns and their potential applicability in the field of broadband ARCs, many studies have been carried out to fabricate these bio-inspired nanostructures with available manufacturing processes. Plasma etching processes used in microelectronic manufacturing are applied for creating these nanostructures at the Rochester Institute of Technology's Semiconductor & Microsystems Fabrication Laboratory (SMFL). Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) scanned surfaces of the nanostructure layer are simulated and characterized for their optical properties using a Finite-Difference Time Domain (FDTD) simulator from Lumerical Solutions, Inc. known as FDTD Solutions. Simulation results show that the layer is anti-reflective over 50 to 350 nm broadband of wavelengths at 0° angle of incidence. These simulation results were supported by ellipsometer reflection measurements off the actual samples at multiple angles of light incidence, which show a 10% to 15% decrease in reflection for 240 to 400 nm wavelengths. Further improvements in the optical efficiency of these structures can be achieved through simulation-fabrication-characterization cycles performed for this project. The optimized nanostructures can then serve the purpose of low-cost anti-reflective coatings for solar cells and similar applications.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Optical coatings; Optical films; Nanostructured materials--Design and construction

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Microelectronics Manufacturing Engineering (ME)

Department, Program, or Center

Electrical Engineering (KGCOE)


Ewbank, Dale


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RIT – Main Campus

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