Variable index optical single-layers, optical multilayer, and laser-resistant coatings were made from a perfluorinated amorphous polymer material by physical vapor deposition. This was accomplished by physically vapor depositing a polymer material, such as bulk Teflon AF2400, for example, to form thin layers that have a very low refractive index (.about.1.10-1.31) and are highly transparent from the ultra-violet through the near infrared regime, and maintain the low refractive index of the bulk material. The refractive index can be varied by simply varying one process parameter, either the deposition rate or the substrate temperature. The thus forming coatings may be utilized in anti-reflectors and graded anti-reflection coatings, as well as in optical layers for laser-resistant coatings at optical wavelengths of less than about 2000 nm.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.