很多涂层都包括折射率不同的透明的薄膜结构thin film structures with alternating layers of contrasting. 薄膜的厚度决定了其作用的反射光波长。当光线在增透膜上产生二次反射时，会和原反射光发生干涉，从而减弱反射光。而根据能量守恒，光的能量不变。因此当反射光减少时，透射光便增多。这就是增透膜的原理。一般，选择增透膜时需确定波长，如红外线，可见光以及紫外线。
Opticians dispense "anti-reflection lenses" because the decreased reflection makes them look better, and they produce less glare, which is particularly noticeable when driving at night or working in front of a computer monitor. The decreased glare means that wearers often find their eyes are less tired, particularly at the end of the day. Allowing more light to pass through the lens also increases contrast and therefore increases visual acuity.
Antireflective ophthalmic lenses should not be confused with polarized lenses, which decrease (by absorption) the visible glare of sun reflected off of surfaces such as sand, water, and roads. The term "antireflective" relates to the reflection from the surface of the lens itself, not the origin of the light that reaches the lens.
Many anti-reflection lenses include an additional coating that repels water and grease, making them easier to keep clean. Anti-reflection coatings are particularly suited to high-index lenses, as these reflect more light without the coating than a lower-index lens (a consequence of the Fresnel equations). It is also generally easier and cheaper to coat high index glasses.
- ^ Understanding bottom antireflective coatings
- ^ Yet, Siew Ing. Investigation of UFO defect on DUV CAR and BARC process. SPIE: 940–948. 2004 [2012-06-25]. doi:10.1117/12.535034.