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OptiLayer:  Your Partner in Design and Post-Production Characterization of Optical Coatings


What's new in OptiLayer in 2009 (version 7.68)

  • A tremendous speed of calculations in OptiLayer software has been further increased due to multiple optimizations of many parts of the software code. Depending of a problem being solved an acceleration of computations may reach 50%. Positioning of Terminate, Options, and some other buttons in the Synthesis menu windows reflecting a progress of design procedures was changed for a better user convenience.
  • Following demands of the growing market of thin films for solar cell applications, a new Layer Absorptance option was added to the Analysis menu of OptiLayer. This option allows you to calculate spectral dependencies of light absorbed in specific layers of a multilayer structure. You can specify the range of layers and types of layer materials for which these spectral dependencies are displayed. Switching from the Spectral mode to the Angular mode of OptiLayer you can study the dependencies of absorbed light in partial layers versus the angle of incident light. The respective report option, Layer Absorptance Report..., has been added to the Results menu of OptiLayer.
  • A number of improvements have been introduced in the basic analysis modes of OptiLayer. The Digitize command has been removed from the Analysis menu and respective option has been redesigned in a more user-friendly form. The digitize option is now accessible through the right-click popup menus of all windows where this option is required.
  • In the Field option of the Analysis menu it is now possible to limit a range of design layers for which an electric filed distribution is displayed. A required range can be specified through the right-click menu of the Field window.
  • Because of a growing practical importance of quasi-rugate optical coatings (coatings having layers with intermediate refractive indices) all options for a pre-production estimation of manufacturing errors allow now studying designs with intermediate and variable refractive indices. In particular pre-production error analysis modes can now work with Changeable and Changeable Composition materials. Unique OptiLayer options for an automatic generation of several monochromatic monitoring strategies (monitoring spreadsheets) have been further optimized to work with quasi-rugate designs.
  • The concept of the Problem Directory is one of the main distinguishing features and advantages of OptiLayer thin film software. Due to this concept you can solve a great number of various design problems or a great number of various characterization and reverse engineering problems without running a risk of mixing various data and results. In the new version of OptiLayer software the powerful Problem directory concept has been further extended by introducing an additional concept of a Project file. You can create a new Project file by selecting Save Project As... item in File menus of OptiLayer programs. Files created by OptiLayer, OptiChar, and OptiRE have extensions .olprj, .ocprj, and .orprj respectively. Any Project file stores all data and settings specified in OptiLayer programs independently from all other such files. Thus you have a new opportunity of storing several independent versions of solved design or characterization problem in one problem directory. A required version can be then invoked using the Open Project... items in the File menus of OptiLayer programs.
  • The General Information window being one of the most important windows of all programs of OptiLayer software family has been totally redesigned. Along with all previously available information this window provides now access to a number of the most important menu items and commands of OptiLayer software as well as a wide set of editing capabilities. For example, through this window you have a direct access to the Problem directory dialog, to the load commands of all databases, etc. The new General Information window provides also access to editing of the main parameters specified in the Configuration menus of OptiLayer programs.
  • Further additions have been made to Import options of all programs of OptiLayer software family.
    • It is now possible to import also ZEMAX.AGF (ASCII Glass Format) files with various glass data.
    • To support broadband monitoring software supplied by Laser Zentrum Hannover (, import of LZH design files has been added.
    • Import of FilmStar Archive FILM files is also possible now. This option is available only to registered FilmStar users because it relies on COM interface and requires installed FilmStar software.
    • In OptiRE, the ability to load so-called X-multi Y text files was added. These files have optical monitor wavelength grid data as a first column and scans of data measured after depositing coating layers 1, 2, 3,... as following columns. OptiRE automatically processes such files and loads measurement data scans as separate files to the Measurement database assigning them respective numbers of design layers. Learn more...
  • OptiLayer catalog of substrate data files has been further extended. The Hikari Glass catalog ( and the catalog from CDGM glass manufacturer ( are now also available to OptiLayer users.
  • A wide set of interface features of OptiLayer software has been further updated. A new Auto-Tile option for opening and positioning  new windows has been redesigned in order to provide a better windows positioning in the case when you more than one monitor use (multi-monitor option of OptiLayer software). Now windows are first properly positioned at a primary monitor and then all other available monitors are considered.
  • Report windows of all programs of OptiLayer software have been optimized for a more convenient scrolling of large report files. In particular a Hierarchical View type of a report has been further improved and optimized in order to avoid flicker and to provide a better navigation through lengthy reports.
  • Reliable characterization of thin film materials often requires comparing characterization results (refractive index and extinction coefficient wavelength dependencies) with previously obtained or well-known catalog data. To provide a convenient comparison of various refractive index and extinction coefficient wavelength dependencies a new Compare Index Plots... option is added to the View menu of OptiChar. This option is also available through the right-click menu items in the refractive index and extinction coefficient plot windows. The Compare Index Plots... option of the View menu has two sub-menu items Substrates... and Layer Materials... for comparing respective refractive indices and extinction coefficients. An additional database window is opened when selecting one of the Compare options. Using this window it is possible to select multiple database items using mouse with Shift and Ctrl keys. Pressing Compare button places selected refractive index or extinction coefficient data to the Layer Plots or Substrate Plots windows. A new version is very flexible and allowsyou to compare data from various databases. It also enables comparing thin film materials data with substrate data and vise versa. Analogous option is introduced also in OptiRE software. See more...
  • Characterization opportunities of OptiChar have been extended to enable analyzing of measurement data obtained not only in air but also in other media. To be able to analyze such data, you should simply load respective material data as Incident Medium using the Load as Incident Medium option in the Substrate/Incident Medium database of OptiChar.
  • Many other improvements have been made throughout all programs of OptiLayer software family.
    • In OptiLayer, sorting of items in the History and Collection windows is provided with respect to all main parameters displayed at the headings of these windows.
    • Convenient designations of x-axes are introduced at all steps of WDM Filter design option.
    • Paste and spreadsheet operations have become more convenient in all OptiLayer programs.
    • In OptiRE, various experiments with multi-scan measurement data provided by broadband monitors are much more flexible now. The Unload button in Multi-Scan measurement dialog allows you to unload selected data scans.
    • The Glue Layers check box is added to the Design editor of OptiRE (this check box is ON by default). When the Glue Layers check box is disabled, adjacent layers of the same material are not combined in a single layer, as it is typically done in thin film theory. This new option is required for experiments with new promising monitoring strategies, for post-production error analysis, and for analyzing real-time broadband monitoring data from modern optical monitoring equipment.
  • Right-click Context menu allowing to Launch OptiLayer, OptiChar, and OptiRE added to Windows Explorer and all other Windows browsing components (Shell extender). It allows to start any OptiLayer program quickly if OptiLayer Problem directory is selected in the Explorer.


Easy to start

Icons 100x100 1OptiLayer provides user-friendly interface and a variety of examples allowing even a beginner to effectively start to design and characterize optical coatings.        Read more...

Docs / Support

Icons 100x100 2Comprehensive manual in PDF format and e-mail support help you at each step of your work with OptiLayer.



Icons 100x100 3If you are already an experienced user, OptiLayer gives your almost unlimited opportunities in solving all problems arising in design-production chain. Visit our publications page and challenge page.


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