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


  • Is it possible to determine refractive index and extinction coefficient of a thin film deposited on a thick substrate just by giving as input data collected with the spectrometer (e.g. reflectance and/or transmittance) without the necessity of the measure with ellipsometric data?

Yes, it is possible to use only photometric data (R and/or T measured by a spectrophotometer), it is possible to use only ellipsometric data, or it is possible to use combined sets of data (photometeric + ellipsometeric). OptiChar allows you to use any of these approaches. It is demonstrated in our examples.

  • What is the maximum number of design layers in OptiLayer software?

You can design coatings containing any number of layers. You can find design solutions for problems of any complexity. In the current version the number of layers formally limited by 65535, it allows to consider rugate coatings as well.

  • Does OptiLayer provide a database of layer materials?

Yes, OptiLayer provides a Catalog containing optical constants of a wide set of layer materials, glasses and substrates. For all materials, the corresponding data sources are presented.

  • Will I have a possibility to create my own files of optical constants?

Yes, you can create your own materials and specify their optical constants in tabular or/and in formula forms. If necessary, you can store this information in a specialized directory, like "MyCatalog", for example.

  • We work in the far and extreme ultraviolet, our wavelengths may be as short as few nanometers. Does OptiLayer take into account specific features of these spectral ranges?

OptiLayer works in any spectral ranges. In the latest version EUV and X-ray problems are specially supported. We have introduced the concept of grazing angle, refractive indices can be specified in a form suitable for X-ray applications. You can take into account inter-layers and inhomogeneities of layers in the course of coating analysis and refinement.

  • We need to fit a set of about 200 targets of reflectance or transmittance type (either s, p or average polarizations) at specified spectral and angular ranges. We also may need to combine reflectance and transmittance at various wavelengths and incidence angles in a single target. We need to design complex filters that combine high or low transmittance bands with high or low reflectance bands.

Yes, OptiLayer allows you to specify complicated targets for different types of spectral characteristics – reflectance, transmittance, s, p and average polarizations, in any wavelength and angular spectral ranges; you can also specify target values for phase, group delay and group delay dispersion, electrical field, color targets of different types. All existing OptiLayer options have been tested and demonstrated in our publications.

  • Does OptiLayer provide convenient options to save initial parameters, designed structures and to export the results to graphical and text formats?

Of course, it does. There is a large variety of import/export options which make OptiLayer compatible with other software programs. You can store designs, targets of different types, materials, etc. in OptiLayer databases as well. You can export your data to Excel or Origin spreadsheets.

  • I have to design anti-reflection coating (or coatings) so to achieve a minimum reflectance for a system of parallel glasses. All glasses have different refractive indices and different thicknesses. Should I design anti-reflection coatings for each glass and then average thicknesses? Or another solution exists?

Of course, another solution exists. OptiLayer design such systems automatically, you need to specify substrates thicknesses, refractive indices only. This can be done using Stack options. See also, Advanced Example 16 from OptiLayer package.

  • I use Random Optimization design option quite often. I have noticed that if I specify a non-zero lower limit of the layer thicknesses, then the number of design layers do not changes. If the lower limit is zero, then the number of design layer vary. What is the reason?

The reason is very simple. When the lower limit is zero, then in some designs layers with zero thicknesses can appear. In this case the consequent layers of the same material are merged and the number of layer decreases.  When there is a lower limit of layer thicknesses, then layer thicknesses cannot be zero because of the constrains. 

  • I have a complicated post-production characterization problem. I am going to come to the next OptiLayer workshop and bring this problem with me. Will it be possible to discuss my problem confidentially during the workshop? Unfortunately, I cannot give you my measurement data.

We can look at your problem in the course of the workshop (of course, confidentially). You do not need to give the data, we could look at them at your computer.

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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