Flexible and mechanically stable antireflective coatings from nanoporous organically modified silica colloids†
We report the preparation of flexible and mechanically stable antireflective organically modified silica (ormosil) coatings at ambient conditions. Thin films are obtained from colloidal suspensions of ormosil gels which are prepared using methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMS) and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) monomers. The ormosil suspensions are directly applicable and suitable for the large-area deposition of nanoporous ormosil thin films. The nanoporosity of the films can be tuned by changing the monomer ratio of the starting solution. Thin films on flexible substrates retain their antireflective properties even after 100 cycles of excessive bending without a significant change in transmission. Furthermore, the films remained intact after water dripping and adhesive tape tests. In addition, thin films on glass substrates are found to exhibit antifogging properties after annealing at 600 °C for 30 min. The ease of fabrication and multifunctionality of these films make them ideal coatings for flexible electronic and optoelectronic devices, sensors, and solar cells.