Juan I Larruquert, Ritva A.M Keski-Kuha
Thin films of MgF2 deposited by evaporation is a material widely used for its transparency in the far ultraviolet (FUV) down to ∼115 nm. In this paper the optical properties of ion-beam sputtered (IBS) MgF2 in the FUV are investigated and compared with MgF2 films deposited by evaporation. A slightly higher transparency at the 121.6-nm, H Lyman α line was obtained for IBS MgF2 films compared to films deposited by evaporation, which makes IBS MgF2 a promising protective material for Al reflective coatings. Experimental work on Al films that were protected with a thin evaporated MgF2 film followed by an IBS MgF2 film to produce a protective coating with optimum thickness showed a reflectance at 121.6 nm that was higher by about 3% compared to an Al film protected with an all-evaporated MgF2 film.