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


What's new in OptiLayer in 2012 (version 9.51)

  • OptiLayer is the only thin film software that uses multithreading and parallelization of computations. These features become more and more important with a wide implementation of personal computers with several multi-core processors. For the current release a complete revision of multithreading and parallelization has been performed. As a result computations on modern PCs are now significantly faster than before.  
  • OptiLayer has unique set of specialized design options that help you to construct the most practical optical coating design. Important innovations have been implemented in the Random Optimization and Constrained Optimization options of this set. Random optimization with multiple starting designs can be now performed in a constrained domain of layer thicknesses. This can be done by specifying a new set of settings in the Random Optimization setup dialog: lower and upper limits for layer thicknesses. Layer thickness limits can be specified in both random optimization modes: Simple and Design modes. In the Simple mode random starting designs are generated inside a specified constrained domain and subsequent local optimization procedures are also performed with taking into account specified limits for layer thicknesses. In the Design mode random starting designs are generated around the design loaded into RAM with default 3% relative root mean square deviations of layer thicknesses from loaded values. Specified layer thickness limits are taken into account both when starting designs are specified and when local optimization procedures are performed. To simplify specifications of layer thickness limits in the Design mode the "Simple -> Constraints" button is added to the Design tab of the Random Optimization setup dialog. This tab allows one to specify the same limits as in the Simple mode for all layers in the Design mode. An effective solution of complicated design problems with Random Optimization option may require using Simple and Design modes several times with different settings. In order to keep the best designs, the Collection of obtained designs is not cleared when the Design mode is started after the Simple mode. The Collection is not cleared also when Random Optimization is restarted in the Simple mode.
  • Another unique OptiLayer design option, the WDM design option, is now used by many designers for constructing of various types of narrow band pass filters with quarter wave and multiple quarter wave layer optical thicknesses and with unprecedented spectral characteristics.OptiLayer is able to design narrow band pass filters with extremely steep slopes of transmittance at the edges of high transmission zones, with very high and flat transmittance in the pass band regions, and with arbitrary widths of pass band regions. To achieve such characteristics multi-cavity filters should be designed. It may be also required to use non-standard spacer layers and mirror layers. It is now possible to use additional layer materials along with two basic high and low index materials.
  • Multiple additional improvements have been introduced in the WDM synthesis option. An opportunity to use Diabatic Y-axis has been added to the WDM design dialog. Scale settings (Minimum and Maximum values) for this axis are taken from the OptiLayer Options settings. Because modern applications often imply extreme demands for filter blocking regions, the minimum default value for the logarithmic axis has been changed from 10-6 to 10-9 and improved display of extra-low transmittance values, scaling and labeling of Y-axis has been introduced. For your convenience a quick evaluation of initial filter requirements (T @ 0.001, T @ 0.5, T @ 0.89) has been added to the final steps of the WDM Synthesis dialog.  
  • A new Inhomogeneities/Interlayers Refinement option has been introduced to OptiLayer applications.This option allows you to perform a refinement of coating design with taking into account bulk inhomogeneity of coating layers and interface microroughness. All types of targets (conventional targets, color targets, integral targets) can be used by this option. All opportunities provided by the Cone Angle and Line Width databases are also supported by the new refinement option. Designs saved when the Inhomogeneities/Interlayers Refinement option is active are stored with all respective bulk inhomogeneity and interface microroughness settings. For the consistency with this new refinement option the Inhomogeneities/Interlayers analysis option is introduced. This new analysis option combines features that were previously provided by the Layers Inhomogeneity and Interface Layers options. It can be activated using global switch of the General Information Window and right-click menus of the corresponding evaluation windows.  
  • To provide more convenience in using OptiLayer for X-ray and EUV applications, an opportunity to use grazing incidence angles instead of conventional incidence angles is now provided throughout the program. Switching to grazing incidence angles is done with the help of Configuration menu. A possibility to specify material parameters using Delta and Beta parameters is now provided in Layer Material and Substrate editors. Grazing incidence angles and additional material parameters can be used also in OptiChar and OptiRE.  
  • Multiple innovations have been introduced in OptiLayer synthesis and analysis modes in connection with essential broadening of a set of targets that can be used by the program. New targets include phase shift on back side reflection, differential phase shift on back side reflection, group delay and group delay dispersion for back side reflection, third-order dispersion for back side reflected light. It is now possible to use multiple user-defined targets (UDT). It is also possible to open multiple UDT windows and to set arbitrary combinations of plots of characteristics corresponding to specified UDT. An ability to use functions SIN, COS, SINH, COSH, TANH, EXP, ABS for specifying UDT is added to the User-Defined Target dialog. These elementary functions can be used to construct more complicated UDT. It is now possible to specify several color targets that differ only by their qualifiers. This can be used, for example, for specifying ranges for color targets.
  • Significant improvements has been introduced in the Integral Target Editor. It is now possible to copy and remove integral weight spectral distributions, to insert standard distributions according to EN 410 standard. There is a new Source/Detector check box in the Integral Target editing window that allows one to include loaded light source and light detector data in calculations of integral targets. A global setting "Use loaded source and detector during T,R and A computations" in the Configuration menu doesn't affect integral target computations anymore.  
  •  Essential improvements have been introduced in OptiLayer, OptiChar, and OptiRE modes working with ellipsometric data. Ellipsometric angles can be now evaluated with taking into account depolarization effect (when the Back-Side option is enabled). An additional item, the Delta Folded item, has been added to the list of ellipsometric characteristics that can be evaluated in the Ellipsometric Angles evaluation mode. The Delta Folded characteristic is varying in the range from 0 to 180 degrees and its calculation is performed in a special way in order to match Delta angles measured by such devices as Woollam ellipsometers (ellipsometers of the RAE type, or the Rotating Analyzer Ellipsometer type). In OptiChar and OptiRE computations have been also adjusted in order to match measurement data for ellipsometric angles Delta provided by ellipsometers of the RAE type.  
  • The former OptiLayer Averaging option has been replaced by the new and much more powerful Analysis option - Integral values and characteristics option. It is now possible to display current values of merit functions of all types, all color characteristics, integral values of all types. Averaging and searching for minimum and maximum values can be performed for all spectral characteristics over any desired wavelength and angle of incidence range, or over both ranges simultaneously. You can adjust a style of display for any displayed value (font type, size, color and background color, number of digits, scientific/ordinary forms of representation). All your settings are persistent and saved between OptiLayer sessions.  
  • Computational manufacturing and error analysis modes of OptiLayer have gained additional flexibility. At the second steps of the dialogs in the Broadband Monitoring Simulation and Monochromatic Monitoring Simulation modes it is now possible to specify optical coating materials independently of materials used in a theoretical coating design.
  • In the Error Analysis Setup dialog pauses between plotting results of subsequent error analysis tests can be specified in fractions of seconds.   
  • Long material abbreviations have been introduced in OptiLayer and OptiRE. These abbreviations may be more convenient than previously used one-character and two-character abbreviations when many materials are loaded to the memory or when it is desirable to indicate material names directly.  
  • Export options of OptiLayer have been further extended. It is now possible to export OptiLayer files directly to the Intellemetrics  formats which is convenient for the users working with monitors produced by the Intellemetrics Global Ltd ({}).
  • Multiple innovations in OptiRE and OptiCharhave been done:
    • A new Linear model has been added to the Index Drift option of the Indices Correction mode. This option assumes a linear drift of refractive indices of coating layers in time. The Layer To Database option now takes into account settings of the Index Drift option.
    • Measurement correction option can be switched on independently for all in situ measurement data scans recorded after depositions of all layers except for the last layer and for the measurement data scan recorded for the last coating layer. This makes the Measurement correction option more flexible because the last measurement data scan can be recorded not in situ but after taking a coating out of a chamber with the help of different spectrophotometer. Output of corrections made in measurement data is now more detailed and corrections made for all measurement scans are now presented in the Report windows. The Measurement correction option becomes visible in the Solve menu items of OptiRE only if the respective check box is checked in the Options settings of the Solve menu. 
    • The Measurement correction option becomes visible in characterization modes only if the respective check box is checked in the Options settings of the Characterization menu.  
  •  An important addition asked by many of our users is a compatibility of files created by new OptiLayer versions with older program versions. To provide such compatibility a converter to the version 8.18 file format is added to the new OptiLayer version. This converter can be activated in the Backup/Restore dialog by marking the respective check box.   
  • Convenient modifications are introduced in the edit and other auxiliary options of all programs:
    • The Grid Generator and Column Editor options are now able to increase numbers of rows in spreadsheet editors according to their own settings. It is not necessary therefore to adjust first numbers of rows in the headings of editors as it was before. These numbers will be automatically changed according to the row numbers specified in the Grid Generator and Column Editor.
    • In the Plot Engine utility of OptiLayer the "Keep Labels and Titles" check box has been added at the last page of the Plot Engine dialog. When it is checked, appending new charts to the existing one does not overwrite existing titles and labels.
    • The Export to MS Excel option now opens a Microsoft Excel window as not the topmost window - this provides more convenient positioning of all windows on the screen.
    • The Templates option has been added to all charts. It can be found in the list of options evoked by the right click mouse button in all chart windows. This option allows you to save a template to a file for further use. It is then possible to apply saved templates to the same or any other chart window.  
  • Eleven additional Advanced Examples have been added to the new OptiLayer release. These examples help you to start using many new advanced features of OptiLayer thin film software.  

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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