The absorption loss in a multilayer interference filter or antireflection coating can be calculated from the optical properties of its constituent materials. In the design of such a filter, the absorption and scattering losses are usually neglected. Even if these losses were taken into consideration at the design stage, the resulting performance would probably not be greatly improved; however, it is of interest to predict the change in filter performance when absorbing materials are substituted in an ideal nonabsorbing filter.
The multilayers treated include transmission-type interference filters, both with and without semi-transparent metal films, reflection-type interference filters, and antireflection coatings.
The analysis is made by transmission-line methods. The connection between optical and electrical filters with absorption losses is further treated in an appendix.
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