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


Overview of OptiLayer Monitoring Options

With the current state-of-the-art in designing optical coatings, a reliable monitoring of their production becomes a key to success in many application areas. There exists a great variety of different monitoring approaches. 

A primary subdivision of monitoring techniques is their subdivision into non-optical techniques (quartz crystal and time monitoring) and optical monitoring techniques.

Optical monitoring techniques can be then subdivided into monochromatic monitoring (on-line measurements are performed at a single or several subsequent wavelengths) and broadband monitoring (on-line measurements are performed in a spectral range) techniques.

  • Monochromatic monitoring strategies provide strong error self-compensation for quarter-wave designs. For non-quarter-wave designs, more complex monochromatic monitoring strategies are required. 
  • Broadband monitoring (BBM) data is noisier but more informative.  BBM provides an error self-compensation effect.
  • The production potential of BBM techniques was first demonstrated nearly three decades ago. Broadband optical monitoring is especially useful for deposition systems with on-line reoptimization of optical coatings.
  • Monochromatic optical monitoring remains an important and widely used tool. OptiLayer proposes a algorithms for choosing a proper sequence of monitoring wavelengths for all coating layers (monitoring strategy).

Monitoring techniques can be divided into direct and indirect ones. In the case of direct monitoring, transmittance or reflectance measurements are performed on at least one of the coatings to be manufactured while in the case of indirect monitoring layer thicknesses are monitored on separate witness substrates.

  • In the case of the direct monitoring, errors are accumulated.
  • In the case of the indirect monitoring (monitoring with witness chips), the errors are not accumulated. At the same time, correlation factors between thicknesses of the sample and of the witness glass are to known with high accuracy.

thin film monitoring

Classification of optical monitoring strategies.

broadband monitoring

OptiLayer Monitoring options include:

OptiLayer Automation options and OptiReOpt library propose tools for on-line characterization and re-optimization of optical coatings.


See details in our publications:

  1. M. Trubetskov, T. Amotchkina, A. Tikhonravov, Automated construction of monochromatic monitoring strategies, Appl. Opt., Vol. 54, pp. 1900-1909 (2015).
  2. A. Tikhonravov, M. Trubetskov, T. Amotchkina, "Optical monitoring strategies", Book chapter in Optical Thin Films and Coatings, Woodhead Publishing Limited; Piegari and Flory Eds., 2013.
  3. T. Amotchkina, S. Schlichting, H. Ehlers, M. Trubetskov, A. Tikhonravov, "Computational manufacturing as a tool for the selection of the most manufacturable design", Appl. Opt., pp. 8677-8686 (2012).
  4. T. Amotchkina, S. Schlichting, H. Ehlers, M. Trubetskov, A. Tikhonravov, and D. Ristau, "Computational manufacturing as a key element in the design-production chain for modern multilayer coatings," Appl. Opt. 51, 7604-7615 (2012).
  5. T. Amotchkina, M. Trubetskov, V. Pervak, and A. Tikhonravov. "Design, production and reverse engineering of two-octave antireflection coatings." Appl. Opt. 50, 6468-6475 (2011).
  6. A. Tikhonravov, M. Trubetskov, and T. Amotchkina, "Investigation of the error self-compensation effect associated with broadband optical monitoring," Appl. Opt. 50, C111-C116 (2011).
  7. A. Tikhonravov, M. Trubetskov, T. Amotchkina, and V. Pervak, "Estimations of production yields for selection of a practical optimal optical coating design," Appl. Opt. 50, C141-C147 (2011).
  8. M. Trubetskov, T. Amotchkina, A. Tikhonravov, Broadband monitoring simulation with massively parallel processors, Proc. SPIE. 8168, Advances in Optical Thin Films IV 81681D (2011).
  9. V. Zhupanov, E. Klyuev, S. Alekseev, I. Kozlov, M. Trubetskov, M. Kokarev, and A. Tikhonravov, "Indirect broadband optical monitoring with multiple witness substrates", Applied Optics 48, 2315-2320 (2009).
  10. A. V. Tikhonravov and M. K. Trubetskov, "Elimination of cumulative effect of thickness errors in monochromatic monitoring of optical coating production: theory," Appl. Opt. 46, 2084-2090 (2007).
  11. A. V. Tikhonravov, M. K. Trubetskov, and T. V. Amotchkina, "Computational experiments on optical coating production using monochromatic monitoring strategy aimed at eliminating a cumulative effect of thickness errors," Appl. Opt. 46, 6936-6944 (2007).
  12. A. V. Tikhonravov, M. K. Trubetskov, and T. V. Amotchkina, "Investigation of the effect of accumulation of thickness errors in optical coating production by broadband optical monitoring," Appl. Opt. 45, 7026-7034 (2006).
  13. A. V. Tikhonravov, M. K. Trubetskov, and T. V. Amotchkina, "Statistical approach to choosing a strategy of monochromatic monitoring of optical coating production," Appl. Opt. 45, 7863-7870 (2006).
  14. A. V. Tikhonravov and M. K. Trubetskov, "Computational manufacturing as a bridge between design and production," Appl. Opt. 44, 6877-6884 (2005)

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