Abstract

Several modern optical coating designs tools are discussed in the frame of a new design paradigm proposing the search not for a formally optimal solution with the lowest possible merit function value but for the most practical solution that takes into account additional feasibility demands. Considered design tools include a stochastic optimization procedure that takes into account upper and lower constraints for layer optical thicknesses. This procedure allows one to obtain multiple solutions to a design problem, which presents additional opportunities for choosing a practically optimal design. Two special design techniques involving integer optimization also take into account additional demands. The first one is aimed at designing multicavity narrow bandpass filters with quarter wave or multiple quarter wave layer optical thicknesses. It enables obtaining bandpass filters with extremely steep transmittance slopes, bandwidths of several tens of nanometers, and very small ripples in transmission zones. The second technique is aimed at covering design problems that have been traditionally solved using the theory of equivalent layers. One more technique considered in this paper is aimed at reducing the influence of noncorrelated thickness errors on design spectral characteristics.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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