Graduation date: 1993In this thesis the concept of inhomogeneous\ud dielectrics is demonstrated for various optical coating\ud applications. Compositionally-varying silicon oxynitride\ud (SiON) dielectric layers, with the refractive index\ud varying as a function of position, are grown by computer-controlled\ud plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition\ud (PECVD) using silane, nitrogen, and nitrous oxide reactant\ud gases. Compositionally graded and superlattice-like SiON\ud layers are grown and their compositional profiles are\ud confirmed by Auger electron spectroscopy sputter\ud profiling. Inhomogeneous antireflection coatings and\ud rugate filters, with sinusoidally varying refractive index\ud profiles, are designed and fabricated and their measured\ud spectral responses are found to be in excellent agreement\ud with simulated results. Alternating-current thin film\ud electroluminescent (ACTFEL) devices with multiple layer\ud dielectrics also are designed, fabricated, and the\ud insulating layers are shown to increase the optical\ud outcoupling efficiency of an ACTFEL devices by\ud approximately 14 % compared to that of a conventional\ud ACTFEL structure
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