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Chapter 3:
Thin Films, the Building Blocks of Multilayers
The basic theory of multilayer design appears in Chap. 2. Not a few questions remain unanswered, such as: (1) What range of refractive indices may be used in multilayers? (2) Are there lower and upper limits on the thicknesses of coatings? (3) What is the influence of the dispersion of the optical constants on the performance of the coatings? These and other questions are addressed in this chapter. The range of refractive indices depends upon the method used to deposit the films and, consequently, this chapter begins with a survey of deposition methods. The focus, however, is on the optical and other properties of films per se. Although mention is made of factors that might influence these properties, such as rate of deposition or substrate temperature, a discussion of the control of these parameters is deferred until Chap. 9.
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