Anti-Reflective coating (often called AR coating) removes reflections from the front and back surfaces of eyeglass lenses. Perhaps you’ve noticed these reflections on the lenses of family members or co-workers. You’re distracted by the reflection in their lenses of overhead lights or the window behind you. Often, they are too, even though they may not be aware of what exactly is making them feel like the lenses are “dirty” or “cloudy”.
The early versions of AR coated lenses had issues. For an AR coating to be truly durable, the underlying hard coat must be as tough and scratch resistant as possible. It also must bond tightly to the lens surface and match the molecular sub straight of the anti-reflective coating. Unfortunately, the early hard coating didn’t adhere well to the lens or the AR coating causing it to fail. This failure appeared as fine horizontal vertical or circular scratches on the lenses. These “scratches” were cracks in the hard coating causing the AR coating to peel.
Anti-reflective coatings are applied in several layers each at a different angle. The layer thickness of these coatings determines the residual color of the AR coating. Previous versions often had an obvious blue, purple or green cast and were difficult to clean and keep clean. Often, slightly dirty or oily lenses would look like there was an oil slick on them.
Fortunately, these issues have been resolved through the years with additional research and development. One of the best and most durable AR coatings we have found in over 30 years comes from
Laramy-K Optical which supplies all the lenses for the Spectacle Shoppe. Their ICE AR coating is almost colorless with a faint residual blue cast and is also very durable.