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



Graphical tools

OptiLayer provides various tools to present graphically your results.  On the Evaluation window you can see any evaluated spectral characteristics.

reflectance transmittance plot

All evaluated spectral characteristics can be plotted. You can easily adjust types of plots, axis, scales, etc.

plot spectral characteristics

The plots can be adjusted through standard chart settings:

spectral characteristics multilayer

Along with  the main Evaluation window, you can open multiple evaluation windows and plot the same or other spectral characteristics related to the same design at different angles of incidence, polarization, spectral ranges.

Example: main evaluation window shows transmittance of a bandpass filter and target values (violet crosses)

plot spectral characteristic multilayer

For example, you may need to plot other spectral characteristics in order to better present features in the most important spectral ranges. You may need to see what happens if the angle of incidence deviates from that one that what used in the design process. 

Example: second evaluation window presents transmittance of the same bandpass filter in one of the high-transmittance ranges and in a larger scale. Spectral behavior at small incidence angles ican be also interesting:

evaluation transmittace filter

You can compare spectral characteristics of different designs at one plot or combine multiple spectral characteristics at one plot. The option and its settings are available through: Analysis --> Plot Engine:

plot spectral characteristics multilayers

Example: comparison of transmittance data of three different designs:

spectral characteristics of optical coatings

Using the powerful Analysis --> Plot Engine option you can plot dependencies of different spectral characteristics on various coordinates, namely:

  • Wavelength,
  • Angle of incidence,
  • Refractive index of the ambient medium,
  • Refractive index/Extinction coefficient of the substrate,
  • Coating coordinate,
  • Thickness of any layer (in this case additional setting - layer number - appears)
  • Refractive index/Extinction coefficient of any layer (in this case additional setting - layer number - appears)
  • Refractive index/Extinction coefficient of any material (in this case additional setting - layer number - appears)

Example: Settings and dependence of the coating transmittance (averages polarization, wavelength 1500 nm) on the refractive index of the last 58-th layer.

plot spectral characteristics

dependence spectral characteristic

You can also plot dependencies of color coordinates in any color coordinate systems on various parameters.

This powerful option can be applied in a combination with the Variator and provide all visual analysis possibilities of optical coatings designs.

You can compare dependencies related to different designs or combine dependencies calculated for different spectral or angular ranges.

You can save the plots as *.vtc2 files and combine them using stand-alone Plot Engine module.

You can export the numerical data of the plots using:

Right mouse button --> Chart --> Export --> Data --> Selection from Excel, text, HTML, etc. formats --> Save

You can modify axis, panels,  etc. using standard Chart tools.

Example: Settings and dependence of the color coordinates of the reflected light of a coating (averages polarization, chromaticities \(x\) and \(y\)) on the extinction coefficient of the second (metal-dielectric) layer.

dependence color coordinates

dependence of color coordinates

Through Analysis --> Plot Engine option you can plot characteristics as functions of one or two parameters, according to the choice Y = f(X) or Z = f (X,Y). The list of arguments includes Wavelength, the Angle of incidence, Re(n) Ambient medium, Re(n) substrate, Im(n) substrate, coating coordinate, layer thickness, and Re(n) layer. The same set of arguments is provided for Y argument if you select a Z = f (X,Y) mode. In the same frame the range for the argument (From... To), the number of points (Points) and the argument increment between the points (Step) are specified.

multilayer spectral characteristics

Example: 3D plot - dependence of the filter reflectance on the wavelength and on the incidence angle:

optical coatings spectral characteristics

All plots are ROTATABLE!

Chart Windows (windows having plots and diagrams) has additional export formats:

plot reflectance transmittance

Windows can be saved as:

  • *.bmp files (bitmap graphics format)
  • *.jpg files (JPEG bitmap)
  • *.wmf files (Windows metafiles format)
  • *.pcx files (Paintbrush format)
  • *.gif files (CompuServe bitmap)
  • *.png files (Portable Networks Graphics)
  • *.tiff files (Tagged Image File Format)

plot reflectance transmittance multilayer

The Digitize command is accessible from popup menus of Evaluation windows invoked by the right mouse button.

When any graphic plot in Evaluation, Refinement, Needle Optimization, Random Optimization and other windows is displayed, this command allows you to read exact numerical (X,Y) values of the plotted characteristics. When the Digitize command is activated, a vertical bar is displayed in the plot window to visually identify the graph point being evaluated, an additional window labeled "Values List" appears on the screen. The values list displays the exact numerical values of all spectral characteristics that are presented in the window.

spectral characteristics multilayer plot

Memorize submenu allows to store any plot for further comparison with another plot or plots. The submenu is available through

Right mouse button --> Memorize plots

spectral properties multilayer

Reports in OptiRE and OptiChar

In the Data Fitting Window, OptiRE/OptiChar compare the measurement data and corresponding model spectral characteristics:

fitting spectral measurements by model curve

OptiRE/OptiChar allow previewing the text with the information about the fitting of measurement data by theoretical spectral characteristics. This text can be saved or exported to Excel by one mouse click:

fitting experimental data by theoretical data

OptiRE present thickness errors determined in the course of post-production characterization as a diagram or as different tables of values:

thickness errors in multilayers

OptiRE presents the current systematic and random errors in layer thicknesses in the text form (Thickness Errors Report):

errors in layer thicknesses in optical coatings


OptiRE plots initial, corrected refractive indices, drifted refractive indices or/and Layer Inhomogeneities if Refractive Index Correction option was applied or/and Index Drifts (Offsets) and Layer Inhomogeneities were determined in the course of the post-production characterization:

refractive indices correction

The corresponding reports: Refractive indices Report, Index Drift Report and Inhomgeneities Report allow previewing the numerical values in the text form:

refractive index offset

OptiChar plots fitting of the experimental data by model data:

fitting of experimental data by model data

Determined refractive indices, extinction coefficients, thickness dependence of the refractive index are shown in corresponding windows:

thicn film characterization refractive index

 characterization thin film

OptiChar collects and show all layer information obtained in the course of the layer characterization in the Layer Report:

A similar report (Substrate Report) can be created if you characterized a substrate.




Import Data from Excel and Import from Multiple Files

Import Spectra from Excel. This command first opens File Open dialog, where you need to select a corresponding MS Excel file with measurement data. 

OptiChar performs smart scan of Excel file layout and represents all extracted data in the Import Spectra from Excel window. On the bottom all worksheets are listed and can be changed using tabs similar to Excel file, each extracted spectrum is represented in the list to the left with specification of column name, cell range and future measurement file name.

import measurement data in Excel

The names can be adjusted if necessary editing cells in the Measurement Name column. Import column allows to deselect some spectra excluding them from Import operation.

It is important to use Options dialog in order to set correct types of spectra, incidence angle and X- and Y-axis units.

import spectral data from Excel

Import Multiple Files option greatly simplifies measurement data import. Using this option you can import many files in one simple operation. File format is recognized automatically by OptiChar/OptiRE.

Import Multiple Files command opens the corresponding window. On the top of the window the currently opened folder is presented, it could be changed using a Browse button  at the right side. Reload button initiates reloading of all files in the current folder, it may be useful, if new files were added, or some files were deleted in this folder by some other program.

Instead of using Browse button it is possible to use drag-and-drop operation. Simply select the files of interest or a folder containing these files and drop it onto the right part of the window.


 Import multiple measurements

Variator in OptiLayer

Variator allows to study how the design performance changes with variations of layer thicknesses and refractive indices of the design and surrounding media.

View --> Variator

VarOL settings before

Using sliders, [-] and [+] buttons, or numerical controls you can adjust the parameters of the design, substrate and incident medium and almost instantly see the effect of such change. The changes are applied to all other OptiLayer windows, therefore you can study multiple effects at once.

In the case of dispersive materials the variations are considered as offsets of the refractive index or extinction coefficient. In other words, a constant value controlled by the Variator is added to the refractive index spectral dependence.

Along with variations in spectral characteristics, you can observe changes in all other characteristics (colors, color rendering index, color patch, average and integral values, refractive index profile, admittance, electric field, etc.)

Example: we consider a 8-layer metal-dielectric coating (left panel) and study how variations in layer thicknesses of some layers and optical constants of metal-island layer affect spectral characteristics, color coordinates from 0 to 45 degrees as well as light and solar direct transmittance. 

Reflectance, transmittance and back side reflectance of the initial 8-layer metal dielectric design consisting of TiO2 (H), SiO2 (L) and Ag-SiO2 metal-island film:

VarOL spchar before

Color coordinates of reflectance and back side reflectance of the initial coating. The incidence angle is varying from 0 to 45 degrees, average polarization:

VarOL colors before

 VarOL av before  

Variations of thicknesses of metal layer and the last H-layer and optical constants of metal layer:

variations of layer thicknesses


Revert Back button allows to restore the initial parameters.

Save Modified Materials button is active if you applied any change to any of the materials. After the click OptiLayer creates copies of initial materials in Substrate and Layer Material databases. The names have ['] as a suffix in order to distinguish them from the initial materials. Any new Save operation will update these modified files again.

 Effect on spectral characteristics:

variations layer thickness

Effect on color coordinates:

variations of colors in coatings

Variations of integral characteristics:

variations solar transmittance

Import of optical constants from Refractiveindex.INFO database

OptiLayer provides a convenient interface for the navigation through RefractiveIndex.INFO database. 

In the left pane of the RefractiveIndex.INFO database window it is possible to select Shelf section and in the Book & Page part - a particular material of interest. The right pane shows the related detailed information including refractive index dispersion and the initial origin of the data.

With Transfer button it is possible to transfer the data to the current Substrate database of you OptiLayer Problem Directory.

You can transfer the data to the Layer Material database or Substrate database of your current Problem Directory.

import Refractiveindex.INFO

Transferred materials have the corresponding literature source in the comment field.

You can use transferred materials/substrates for design process or for verification of your characterization results.



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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