Applying the Darboux transformation in the optical-depth space allows building infinite chains of exact analytical solutions of the electromagnetic (EM) fields in planar 1D-graded dielectrics. As a matter of fact, infinite chains of solvable admittance profiles (e.g. refractive-index profiles, in the case of non-magnetic materials), together with the related EM fields are simultaneously and recursively obtained. The whole procedure has received the name “PROFIDT method” for PROperty and FIeld Darboux Transformation method. By repeating the Darboux transformations we can find out progressively more complex profiles and their EM solutions. An alternative is to stop after the first step and settle for a particular class of four-parameter admittance profiles that were dubbed of “sech(ξ)-type”. These profiles are highly flexible. For this reason, they can be used as elementary bricks for building and modeling profiles of arbitrary shape. In addition, the corresponding transfer matrix involves only elementary functions. The sub-class of “sech(ξ)-type” profiles with horizontal end-slopes (S-shaped function) is particularly interesting: these can be used for high-level modeling of piecewise-sigmoidal refractive-index profiles encountered in various photonic devices such as matchinglayers, antireflection layers, rugate filters, chirped mirrors and photonic crystals. These simple analytical tools also allow exploring the fascinating properties of a new kind of structure, namely smooth quasicrystals. They can also be applied to model propagation of other types of waves in graded media such as acoustic waves and electric waves in tapered transmission lines.