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


What's new in OptiLayer in 2011 (version 8.85)

  • New design option, Formula Constrained Optimization option, has been added to the list of OptiLayer design options. This unique option allows you to perform optimization of designs represented by design formulas containing several integer and continuous optimization parameters. The new option entirely covers opportunities presented by design techniques based on the concept of equivalent layers. It also addresses a wide set of design problems connected with chirped mirrors and X-ray optics. Learn more...
  • Further improvements have been done in basic design routines of OptiLayer. Needle optimization routines are now working more efficiently at initial steps of design procedures, especially in complicated situations when thicknesses of some design layers are fixed. Some modern applications, for example solar cell applications, require taking into account wave propagation in thick absorbing layers. Accurate computations for multilayers with thick absorbing layers are tricky and require essential modifications of basic computational routines. Such modifications have been introduced and the new OptiLayer version provides the highest speed of computations for all types of absorbing multilayers.
  • The list of OptiLayer refinement methods has been further extended and it is now possible to use one more modern effective optimization method – Quasi-Newton DLS method.
  • The inhomogeneous refinement mode of OptiLayer is now able to work also with Integral Targets.
  • Essential innovations have been introduced in Color analysis and design modes of OptiLayer. Color diagrams are now plotted using modern charting tools. Due to this fact plotting is significantly faster and chart windows display additional information on color diagrams. Color charts in CIE (1931) and CIE (1976) color spaces allow zooming and panning. Different Color Evaluation Parameters are now represented using different markers. Color targets are displayed at color charts. Color Coordinates window can be opened now when computations are running. Learn more...
  • Color Range targets have been added to the wide set of OptiLayer design and evaluation targets. These new targets are represented as convex polygons in Chromaticity, CIE YU'V' 1976, CIE YU'V' 1960, Hunter Lab, CIE L*a*b*, CIE L*u*v* color spaces. For convenient specification of color range targets a special popup editor has been added to the Color Target editor. A type of polygon and its convexity are checked during editing of coordinates of polygon vertices. Learn more...
  • OptiLayer production yield analysis options have been further developed. The Error Analysis Setup windows of the Error Analysis and Error Yield Analysis options of OptiLayer allow now specifying errors of absolute (RMS columns) and relative (Rel.RMS(%) column) types independently. These two types of errors are caused by different error factors and specification of errors as additive errors caused by various error factors is more relevant to practice. The maximum number of tests in all Error Analysis and Yield Analysis options has been increased to 999999 from 9999 as before.
  • New Color Range targets can be used for the production yield analysis. If a polygon Color Range target is loaded to the memory then the Error Yield Analysis option will automatically analyze color properties of designs with randomly-generated production errors. Results of this analysis are presented in additional Yield Analysis of Color Coordinates window by a set of markers having dark green color if their color coordinates correspond to internal polygon points and red color if their color coordinates correspond to external polygon points. New Color Range targets can be also used in the Broadband and Monochromatic Yield Analysis options. In the Error Analysis Setup window of the Error Analysis mode it is now possible to activate the Include Color Error Analysis option. If this option is checked then results of analysis of color properties of designs with randomly generated thickness errors will be presented in the additional Error Analysis of Color Coordinates window. If along with the above option the check box with CRI is also checked then the Color Rendering Index will be also evaluated. Results of color error analysis are represented by a set of markers at the Color Diagram tab as well as by statistical parameters at the Spreadsheet tab.
  • Ellipsometric Angles evaluation option of OptiLayer has now ability to display along with conventional ellipsometric characteristics also Tan(Psi), Cos(Delta), and Delta Folded characteristics. The Delta Folded characteristic is defined as Delta Folded = Delta if Delta < 180 and Delta Folded = 360-Delta if Delta > 180. The main reason for introducing this characteristic in OptiLayer is that there are ellipsometers that provide only folded Delta angle. The Tan(Psi), Cos(Delta), and Delta Folded ellipsometric angles can be also used in OptiChar and OptiRE.
  • A new Line Width database has been introduced in OptiLayer. This database allows one to store settings for a width of instrumentation spectral line. This width can be dependent on a wavelength. If an item from the Line Width database is loaded then all evaluation and design computations are performed with taking into account line width settings.
  • Meeting growing demands of advanced users, the maximum number of layer materials that can be used in OptiLayer and OptiRE modules has been increased from 128 to 999. This enables you to consider some specific design and analysis problems, for example specific problems related to rugate and quasi-rugate coatings.
  • Following suggestions of OptiLayer users, several convenient modifications have been done in various parts of the OptiLayer software. Now the Averaging window of the Averaging option of the OptiLayer Analysis menu displays along with an average value also minimum and maximum values of a spectral characteristic in a specified spectral band. Learn more...
  • In all programs a more logical management of Project files is now provided. The only way to create a new project file is saving existing program configuration with the Save As.command. This prevents an accidental overriding of a project file content.
  • Multiple innovations have been introduced in various Import and Export options of all programs of OptiLayer software family. In OptiChar and OptiRE import of Sopra  data is now supported. Specific feature of Sopra data files is that they contain Tan(Psi) and Cos(Delta) values. For direct processing of such data, Tan(Psi) and Cos(Delta) have been added to the list of possible ellipsometric characteristics.
  • OptiChar and OptiRE support also direct import of data from Sentech ellipsometers (
  • OptiChar and OptiRE options for importing Woollam data files allow now also direct importing of R/T data.
  • In XY import options of OptiLayer, OptiChar, and OptiRE the ability to specify angle of incidence for import operation has been added. In OptiChar and OptiRE such ability exists also for Perkin Elmer, JCAMP-DX and Varian import operations.
  • The OptiChar and OptiRE option for importing Varian data has been essentially improved. Now the Varian import dialog is modeless that allows you to import multiple recorded traces without reopening and reconfiguring the import dialog many times. An entry destination of imported data can be changed during the import operation and different traces can be entered into different measurement data files.
  • The unique option for importing data from arbitrary ASCII files has become even more convenient than before. An automatic alignment of columns in ASCII files is now done by default.
  • Option for importing Essential Macleod target data and stack data are now also imported and converted to the OptiLayer format.
  • Leybold monitoring report can be now imported without preliminary creating of a monitoring spreadsheet. If such spreadsheet hasn't been generated then OptiLayer uses default values for monitoring wavelengths of all design layers.
  • In OptiChar and OptiRE several modifications extending their functionality have been introduced. Both programs can now process ellipsometric data with taking into account a depolarization effect connected with reflection from a sample back side. A depolarization effect causes variations of ellipsometric angles Psi and Delta and some modern ellipsometers, for example, Woollam ellipsometers directly provide depolarization data. Accordingly, the OptiChar and OptiRE Measurement editors have now ability to specify depolarization data in measurement data files. The Woollam import option is now extracting depolarization data if such data are present in Woollam data files.
  • General non-parametric refractive index and extinction coefficient models of OptiChar and OptiRE have become more flexible due to a new ability to select different wavelength grids for n(lambda) and k(lambda) models. The selection includes "Linear", "Logarithmic", and "Inversely Proportional" grids.
  • Several modifications and additions have been done in OptiRE module of OptiLayer software. To support users familiarizing with the Automation feature of OptiRE module, Delphi Automation examples have been added to the OptiRE distribution. General Information window provides new convenient opportunities for managing single-scan and multi-scan measurement data. If measurement data are modified using Preprocess Measurement Data option, then modified status of data is displayed. General Information window allows you to unload measurement data and reload measurement data files if these files have been modified. It is also possible to reload all measurement data files at once, if multi-scan data are used. Index Drifts check box has been added to the Refractive Indices window. Its checking allows you to examine refractive index drifts not only using bar representations of index drifts but also using direct representations of refractive index spectral dependencies resulting from drifts of indices of coating layers. If Drift in time option is chosen in the Refractive Indices Correction window then spectral representations include refractive indices of all layers subjected to the drift option because their refractive indices can be different. In Thickness Errors, Refractive Index Drifts, and Inhomogeneity windows, a natural numbering of layers is used now. Before layers at a window tab related to one of coating materials were numbered according to their sequence in a subset of layers of this material. Relative thickness errors and degrees of inhomogeneity in respective windows of the View menu are plotted in percentage now to be consistent with their spreadsheet representations.
  • Internal file structures in all programs of OptiLayer software family have been completely changed to the compressed XML format. This modification will have a permanently increasing importance for all future versions of OptiLayer software. Starting from the current version it will provide a bi-directional file compatibility between all versions of OptiLayer. Before newer OptiLayer versions were able to read files created by older versions but not vise-versa. Starting with this OptiLayer release older versions will be also able to read files created by newer versions. This modification is especially important for companies having multiple licenses with different release numbers. Users of OptiLayer programs with different release numbers will be able to exchange data files without file compatibility problems.


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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