Hydrolysis of niobium and tantalum pentaethoxides in ethanol and in the presence of basic (ammonia, tetramethylammonium hydroxide, di and triethylamine) or acidic (nitric or hydrochloric acids) additives was investigated. Triethylamine gives monodispersed, small particles of amorphous M2O5,nH2O (M = Nb, Ta). These colloidal suspensions were used to obtain thin films by spin-coating techniques. The coatings display a thickness of 100–300 nm and a refractive index around 1.7. Laser damage tests at 1064 nm wavelength with a pulse length of 3 ns were carried out on the single layer systems. The threshold values (one-onone) are in favor of the Ta2O5 coatings with an average of 14.5 ± 2.1 J/cm2 , by comparison with 8.3 ± 1.6 J/cm2 for the Nb2O5 films.
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Parraud, S., Hubert-Pfalzgraf, L.G. & Floch, H. Stabilization, Characterization and Optical Applications of Niobium and Tantalum Oxide Sols Prepared Via Alkoxide Routes. MRS Online Proceedings Library 180, 397 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-180-397