We formulate the problem of designing gradient-index optical coatings as the task of solving a system of operator equations. We use iterative numerical procedures known from the theory of inverse problems to solve it with respect to the coating refractive index profile and thickness. The mathematical derivations necessary for the application of the procedures are presented, and different numerical methods (Landweber, Newton, and Gauss–Newton methods, Tikhonov minimization with surrogate functionals) are implemented. Procedures for the transformation of the gradient coating designs into quasi-gradient ones (i.e., multilayer stacks of homogeneous layers with different refractive indices) are also developed. The design algorithms work with physically available coating materials that could be produced with the modern coating technologies.
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