The refractive index of a layer is a sensitive function of the preparation conditions. Normal incidence measurement of the optical properties can reveal possible inhomogeneity of index. We propose a method of automatic determination of the complex refractive index and thickness of a layer which includes systematic measurement of the degree of inhomogeneity which is represented by a simple model. The usefulness of the technique is demonstrated by examples that form part of an experimental study of a number of useful optical materials including Y2O3, TiO2, MgF2, HfO2, and SiO2. The dispersions of the refractive index, the extinction coefficient, and of the inhomogeneity are represented by Cauchy formulas with accurately determined coefficients. The results can therefore be readily used in computing the optical properties of thin-film multilayers.
© 1982 Optical Society of America
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