Sputter-Coated Microparticle Additives for Tailored Optical Properties

Report No. ARL-TR-7808
Authors: Daniel M Baechle; Delaney M Jordan
Date/Pages: September 2016; 20 pages
Abstract: Many bulk materials have coatings on them for protection and durability, and much of this comes in the form of paint as it is easy to apply and much cheaper to replace than the part that it covers. If the properties of the paint can be controlled, then any surface can be easily modified to suit particular needs. This study focused on the development of thin film sputter-deposited coatings on particles for use as additives to modify the optical reflectance and absorbance spectra of the bulk material. First, modeling software was used to predict what material combinations and thicknesses would produce the optical reflectance spectra for a given color. In this study, silicon films of varying thickness were modeled on top of a thin copper film to tailor the desired properties. Following modeling, the designed deposition was tested on a flat silicon wafer and analyzed using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry and spectrophotometry. Finally, the coatings were sputter-deposited onto 127-micron-diameter silica spheres and analyzed for color and uniformity. Once the desired optical properties have been demonstrated, they will be incorporated into a polymer matrix for further testing.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2016