Disclosed herein are polysilsesquioxane-based anti-reflective coating (ARC) compositions, methods of preparation, and methods of deposition on a substrate. In one embodiment, the polysilsesquioxane of this disclosure is prepared in a two-step process of acid catalyzed hydrolysis of organoalkoxysilane followed by addition of tetralkoxysilane that generates silicone polymers with >40 mol % silanol based on Si-NMR. These high silanol siloxane polymers are stable and have a long shelf-life in polar organic solvents at room temperature. Also disclosed are low refractive index ARC made from these compositions with and without additives such as porogens, templates, thermal radical initiator, photo radical initiators, crosslinkers, Si--OH condensation catalyst and nano-fillers. Also disclosed are methods and apparatus for applying coatings to flat substrates including substrate pre-treatment processes, coating processes and coating curing processes including skin-curing using hot-air knives. Also disclosed are coating compositions and formulations for highly tunable, durable, highly abrasion-resistant functionalized anti-reflective coatings.
STATEMENT REGARDING GOVERNMENT FUNDING
 This invention was made with government support under Contract DE-EE0006810 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.