Modern optical coatings have moved far from the old mysterious, empirical, subject with its apparent unpredictable sensitivity to good fortune and to the weather. Today, we have advanced theoretical models for optical thin films and their behavior that help us enormously in our understanding. Because of the complexity of the phenomena and their accompanying theory, the theory is best employed in the form of powerful computer models. Success in thin films implies not only practical skill and knowledge but also an ability to use and manipulate these computer models to derive designs, manufacturing programs, extraction of material properties, performance predictions and even failure analysis.

This course is a mixture of formal lectures and hands-on tutorials with a computer for each student. The objective is for each student not only to know how to use the computer but also to understand the computed results and relate them to real optical coatings.

There are no prerequisites although a familiarity with high-school mathematics and/or science would be useful.

Course Description
Calculation of the optical properties of a given thin-film coating is straightforward. Designing for desired optical properties is rather more difficult. Reverse engineering that attempts to identify the errors responsible for manufacturing failures is similar to design but requires a much greater level of understanding. Computers are absolutely necessary in these tasks and so hands-on instruction in computer-aided design is an important aspect of the course. But other supporting techniques that help in understanding the output of the computer and include powerful, back-of-the-envelope methods are even more important and are covered in detail. Optimization and synthesis, included in the course, are impressive methods but in no way replacements for understanding.

Optical film behavior is quite different from that of similar bulk material and it is film microstructure that is largely responsible. Film growth, microstructure, crystallinity, interaction with the environment and, especially, failure modes are important course topics. Much of this can be included in a simple yet comprehensive model of film growth.

A further course objective is an appreciation of deposition processes, the effects of deposition errors, and of tolerances.

Accurate design and analysis involve such a volume of calculation that computers are indispensable. The Essential Macleod package is therefore used for this course. It is a comprehensive collection of tools for virtually all aspects of coating design, analysis, manufacture and understanding and each student has a copy to use for the duration of the course. However it is not necessary to possess this software to benefit from the course.

The lecture notes are extensive and have been specially written. Attending the course is the only way in which they may be obtained.

Provisional Syllabus

Day 1

Fundamentals. Materials. Tutorial on coating design. Introduction to the software

Days 2 - 4

How to design and analyze coatings of all kinds. Learn tools for understanding. Prepare for and simulate production. Understand polarization and oblique incidence, color, short pulse effects. How to write scripts. Coating manufacture, microstructure, properties and much more.

Day 5

Reverse engineering, n and k extraction. Tutorials. Any topics chosen by class.
The Instructor
Dr. Angus Macleod has over 200 publications in the field of optics including the book Thin Film Optical Filters. He is Professor Emeritus of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona and President of Thin Film Center Inc. The SVC recognized his contributions to the vacuum coating industry with the 2002 Nathaniel Sugerman Memorial Award. For his work in education and research he was awarded the 1997 Esther Hoffman Beller medal of the OSA and the Gold Medal of the SPIE in 1987. He has taught courses in optical topics all over the world to classes from one or two to over two hundred. He specializes in teaching techniques for understanding and logical thinking that avoid complicated theory without oversimplification.
Ordering Information

All products and services may be ordered directly from Thin Film Center or from any of our agents. For your convenience we accept payment by American Express, Mastercard and Visa. Please contact us, or our agents for pricing information.

Thin Film Center Inc
2745 E Via Rotunda, Tucson, AZ
85716-5227, USA
Telephone: +1 520 322 6171
Email: info@thinfilmcenter.com