In the optimization of multilayer stacks for various optical filtering purposes not only the thicknesses of the thin films are to be optimized, but also the sequence of materials. Materials with very different optical properties, such as metals and dielectrics, may be combined. A genetic algorithm is introduced to search for the optimal sequence of materials along with their optical thicknesses. This procedure is applied to a heat mirror in combination with a blackbody absorber for thermal solar energy applications at elevated temperatures (250 °C). The heat mirror is based on silver films with antireflective dielectric layers. Seven dielectrics have been considered. For a five-layer stack the sequence (TiO2/Ag/TiO2/Ag/Y2O3) is found to be optimal.
© 1993 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 16, 1992
Published: November 1, 1993
T. Eisenhammer, M. Lazarov, M. Leutbecher, U. Schöffel, and R. Sizmann, "Optimization of interference filters with genetic algorithms applied to silver-based heat mirrors," Appl. Opt. 32, 6310-6315 (1993)