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


What's new in OptiLayer in 2010 (version 8.18)

  • A possibility to analyze and design stacks of substrate media with thin film optical coatings has been included in OptiLayer. To support analyzing and designing of stacks, a new Stack database has been added to a set of OptiLayer databases. Stack editor of this database enables you to create and modify stacks of diverse types, in particular, glued substrates, sets of substrate media separated by air spans, etc. Currently evaluation options and error analysis option are available for analyzing of substrate stacks with optical coatings at substrates boundaries. The Needle optimization and Gradual evolution design options can be already used to optimize and design coatings at stack substrates boundaries. More about stacks in OptiLayer...
  • An outstanding computational efficiency of OptiLayer has been further improved. It is well known that commonly used computational algorithms may have over floating errors when coatings with thick absorbing layers are analyzed and designed. An example of such coatings is provided by the Design contest at the OIC'2010 meeting. A special algorithmic know-how has been used in OptiLayer to provide stable and reliable computations for coatings with absorbing materials and very thick layers.
  • Additional improvements have been made in the Automatic Needle Optimization and Gradual Evolution design procedures to increase their stability with respect to design total optical thickness at first steps of a design procedure.
  • Additional interface modifications have been done in unique design options of OptiLayer. A special "Negative" check box has been added to the Needle Optimization manual controls. If it is checked then the perturbation function P(z) is auto-scaled to negative values only. This allows you more simple navigation in the manual Needle Optimization mode. 
  • A more convenient control of the Silent-Active-Quiet options of the computational modes has been introduced. If in the Silent mode (in this mode the screen is not updated) the mouse cursor is positioned over the Silent-Active-Quiet combo box then in 0.5 sec the Quiet mode is activated and the screen is started to be updated. If the mouse cursor is removed from the combo box area then in 1.0 sec the Silent mode is restored.
  • Random Optimization option of OptiLayer has been significantly improved. Now it has additional Design mode, allowing to perform generation of random starting designs in a more elaborated way. In the Design mode new random designs are generated in some vicinity of currently loaded design, the size of permitted layer thickness deviations and the type of random number distribution can be adjusted for every layer independently.
  • New and unique features of OptiLayer provide the user with opportunities to perform a production yield analysis for manufacturing processes with all major monitoring techniques. Production yield analysis requires introducing design targets of a special type, the so-called Range Targets. To specify such targets special "Range" qualifiers are used in the Target editor window. If a qualifier R is placed in the qualifier column Q of the Target window then two target columns instead of one target column are automatically displayed. These columns are used to specify minimum and maximum target values that specify a range of allowed deviations of spectral characteristics of manufactured coatings. Manufacturing runs providing characteristics that lie inside a specified range are considered as successful ones. Computational manufacturing experiments enable you to estimate and compare productions yields of various theoretical designs. A production yield is estimated as a percentage of successful runs among all performed computational manufacturing runs. A production yield analysis can be performed in computational manufacturing modes of OptiLayer used to simulate optical coating production with broadband and monochromatic optical monitoring. To start respective options the user should click the Yield button at the 4-th step of the Monochromatic Monitoring Simulation dialog or the Yield button at the 5-th step of the Broadband Monitoring Simulation dialog. Read more about these in our publications:

 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)

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).

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).

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).

  • A production yield analysis can be performed also for the case of non-correlated thickness errors that are typical for optical coating production with quartz crystal or time monitoring. The Yield Error Analysis option in the Analysis menu is used for the purpose. Due to the outstanding computational efficiency of OptiLayer this type of analysis can be performed with thousands of random tests. In the case of so large numbers of tests it is not reasonable to update the screen after each test and OptiLayer automatically decrease screen update frequency.
  • One more new option of the statistical error analysis is an ability to fix optical thicknesses of layers in the course of this analysis. This ability is provided by the "Keep Optical Thickness" check box at the Refractive Index tab of the Error Analysis Setup window. The new option enables you to investigate the influence of correlated errors in layer refractive indices and layer thicknesses. Such correlated errors may take place when optical thicknesses are reliably controlled by some optical monitoring procedure and layer physical thicknesses are adjusted by this procedure so as to compensate for the errors in refractive indices.
  • Setting of thickness errors in the Error Analysis dialog now is much more convenient. It is possible to set errors for each coating of a stack, for each material (independently for every coating), and for each design layer. In the first two cases resulting error is formed as a sum of absolute and relative thickness error.
  • The OptiLayer option for computational manufacturing experiments (CME) with broadband optical monitoring has become more informative and convenient in use. It is now possible to analyze all information provided at the last dialog step of this option directly during a computational manufacturing experiment. Detailed data on levels of errors in all layers that have been already deposited and other useful information can be found at this page. A more reliable logic than before is used to terminate a computational manufacturing experiment when the run is obviously unsuccessful. This allows you to spend less time for production yield estimations.
  • The "WDM Error Analysis" option has been essentially revised and improved. For consistency with other computational manufacturing options it is now called "WDM Monitoring Simulation." It is now possible to simulate a wide set of production and monitoring factors responsible for production errors (shutter delays, instabilities of deposition rates, systematic and random fluctuations in layer refractive indices, systematic and random errors in monitoring signal, etc.). Combined monitoring techniques where depositions of some layers are controlled using quartz crystal monitoring and depositions of all other layers are controlled using turning point optical monitoring can be also simulated now. It is important to underline that this OptiLayer option as well as WDM Filter synthesis option can be applied not only for the design and pre-production analysis of WDM filters but also for the design and analysis of all types of quarter wave narrow band pass filters.
  • The maximum number of various layer materials that can be used in OptiLayer and OptiRE has been increased from 26 to 128. This enables you to solve the most challenging problems of thin film optics.
  • Multiple improvements have been done in user friendly interfaces and editing options of all programs of OptiLayer software family. In particular, the "Rename" button has been added to the Problem Directory dialog. This allows you to easily rename problem directories which may be required during a long period work with some directories.
  • In the latest versions of OptiLayer software, the General Information Window plays more and more essential role providing you with convenient access to many options. Blank lines have been added to the lists of choices in the General Information Window in order to provide easy removals of such items as Targets, Designs, etc. To improve visual feedback, all focused editing fields have light-yellow backgrounds now. It is especially convenient for dialogs with multiple controls.
  • Output report forms have been redesigned and further improved. This work was motivated by discovering of some long-standing bugs of third-party vendors. At the same time some intrinsic limitations on possible sizes of output reports have been removed, reports functionality has been improved, and outputs have been made faster.
  • More convenient conventions are used in the Target editor of OptiLayer and Measurement editors. Now column values are not reset to default values if only a name of characteristic is changed in the head of a column, but old values of all cells are kept unchanged.
  • In Layer Material editors of all programs of OptiLayer software it is now possible to specify absorption coefficients instead of extinction coefficients. This option is controlled by a combo box at the header field of the respective column of the Layer Material editor spreadsheet.
  • To eliminate possible ambiguity the menu item "Options" in the Configuration menu has been renamed to "Settings...". Menu item names "Options" are now used only in the Synthesis and Analysis menus of OptiLayer and analogous menus of other programs.
  • The "Target Modifier" option of OptiLayer has been redesigned and renamed to "Add Target Points...". Now this option informs you about a number of target points to be inserted and waits for a confirmation before making target modifications.
  • Various improvements have been done in the Plot Engine stand alone utility in order to support generating of charts with various targets. New Range targets are now completely supported by the Plot Engine.
  • Further additions have been made to Import and Export options of all programs of OptiLayer software family. It is now possible to import also Horiba ellipsometric files. Full support of new Range targets has been added to the export ODS files format.
  • Several modifications have been done in OptiChar and OptiRE in connection with new applications of these programs, in particular, with new applications in the microwave frequency range. Thus the upper limit value for a film thickness has been increased to 1000 micrometers (1mm). An automatic selection of wavelength/wavenumber limits in a course of load of ultra wide band measurement data has been improved.
  • A possibility to specify a back side coating has been introduced in OptiRE. This extends a range of applications of OptiRE for post-production characterization and reverse engineering of manufactured coatings. Absolute tab has been added to the Thickness Errors display. This allows you to investigate production errors in a more vivid form.


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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