Boulder Optical Design Inc.

Consulting service: Thin film materials

The manufacturing process for thin film optics can be greatly improved by a close match of the theoretical design with the measurement results after deposition. Better matching with theory is accomplished largely through a better knowledge of the optical properties of the thin film material. Improved material parameters also ensures that the process "aims for the middle" and thus provides the most room for manufacturing errors. We use a combination of methods to accurately determine the index and extinction coefficients from measured data, and in many cases we can extend the wavelength ranges by using additional knowledge. Understanding the fundamental aspects of light propagation through optical media is very helpful in this synthesis process.

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Figure A: Design model and measured results when the optical parameters are not well characterized.

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Figure B: After the materials are well characterized the design model and measured results agree. This improves the manufacturing process considerably.