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Summer Short Course Series

Optical Thin Film Coating Technology

2021 Course Description

Please note: The course descriptions and instructors listed below are NOT final, it is possible that circumstances beyond our control could necessitate alterations.


The course serves both as an introduction and a review for engineers and scientists of the principles of optical interference filter design while considering, in addition, recent advances in the current technology. Five sessions cover basic design techniques, coating types and their characteristics. The other five sessions include coating fabrication, substrate preparation, characterization, and digital design techniques. 

June 14, Monday

Design of Single-Layer Films, Dr. James B. Oliver

Index of refraction, absorption, dispersion, coating and substrate materials. Reflectance and transmittance of substrates and single-layer films, optical thickness, and interference. Coherent versus incoherent illumination.

June 15, Tuesday

Design-Anti-Reflection Coatings, Dr. James B. Oliver

AR Coatings: Single layer, two layer, multilayer, and gradient index. Graphical design techniques; computer optimization techniques.

June 16, Wednesday

Coating Techniques, Dr. James B. Oliver

Review of various methods for producing optical films, thin film structure, optical and physical thickness monitoring techniques, uniformity, and process control.

Review of thin film structure and formation, vacuum environment, and components of a deposition system including evaporation sources, assist sources, and optical/physical thickness monitoring. 

June 17, Thursday

Design-High Reflector Coatings, Dr. James B. Oliver

Dielectric reflectors: quarterwave stack, modified quarterwave stack, broad band reflectors. Order suppression, electric field profiles, rugate designs. Metal films, enhanced metal reflectors.

June 18, Friday

Design-Non-normal incidence, Dr. James B. Oliver

Polarization of light. Incidence angle effects on refractive index and filter design. Polarizing beam splitter and phase control coatings.

June 21, Monday

Methods of substrate motion in a deposition system, Dr. James B. Oliver

Modeling of thin-film uniformity, stresses in thin films, and process control for precision optical coatings.

June 22, Tuesday

Design-Band Pass Filters, Dr. James B. Oliver: Short and long wavelength and narrow band pass filters. Band pass filter design techniques: Herpin equivalent index, blocking methods. Metal-dielectric filters and graphical design techniques.

June 23, Wednesday

Optical Coatings and Color, Dr. Jennifer Kruschwitz (Rochester)

Coating designs used in color applications: lighting, display, anti-counterfeiting and iridescent pigments, color targets, sunglasses, architectural, etc. Color spaces (i.e. 1931 Chromaticity Diagram, CIELuv, CIELab) and color difference formulas.