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We have used a combination of experimental techniques and a numerical method based on a waveguide model to demonstrate low-modal reflectivity antireflection coatings on semiconductor lasers. Our approach does not require a detailed knowledge of the laser layer structure. We have modeled the experimental spectral reflectivities for single- and two-layer antireflection coatings using this approach. This is the first time that a detailed comparison between theory and experiment has been made for two-layer antireflection coatings.