The role of the refractive index in the design of optical multilayer coatings is discussed. The theory of the Herpin equivalent-index concept is reviewed. New results are presented for an extension of this concept first proposed by Ikeda. A computer program is described which automatically transforms a multilayer design utilizing many refractive indices into a system based on the use of two materials only. Experimental results are given to illustrate this. It is shown how, by the use of Herpin equivalent indices, computation time during thin film synthesis can be drastically reduced.
© 1982 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 26, 1981
Published: April 15, 1982
J. A. Dobrowolski and S. H. C. Piotrowski, "Refractive index as a variable in the numerical design of optical thin film systems," Appl. Opt. 21, 1502-1511 (1982)