Optical Thin Film Design


Optical coatings are ubiquitous on all optical components such as lenses, mirrors, cameras, windows etc… Anti-reflection coatings are used on refractive optics and windows. High-reflection coatings are used in mirrors, which can be a simple metal coating or several layers of dielectric films depending on the specific requirements of the application. Long-pass and short-pass edge filters, bandpass filters, and line filters are other examples. In all of these cases, the principle is based on manipulating the reflection and transmission amplitudes and phase shift of each dielectric film so that the superposition of all the waves produces the desired output spectrum. The focus of this course is on the fundamental principles and  practical strategies employed in optical thin film design. The course will consist of four design projects and one fabrication project.


  • Maxwell’s equations
  • Optical materials
  • Transfer Matrix Method
  • Coherence
  • Anti-reflection designs
  • High reflection designs
  • Herpin Equivalent Index
  • Edge filters
  • Line filters
  • Band pass filters
  • Metal Film Optics
  • Tilted Coatings
  • Production methods
  • Physical Properties