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Optical Coatings

  1. Angus Macleod

Published Online: 15 JUL 2004

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap634

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Macleod, A. 2004. Optical Coatings. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. .

Author Information

  1. Thin Film Center Inc., Tucson, AZ, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2004


Optical coatings consist of thin uniform layers of material over a surface. Interference effects combine with the intrinsic properties of the materials to modify the specular properties of the surface without altering its power. Antireflection coatings reduce reflection losses, high-reflectance coatings increase the reflectance, others divide or combine light beams perhaps according to their wavelength or direction, some are purely decorative, and there are many others of different types.


  • optical coatings;
  • thin films;
  • layers;
  • optical filters;
  • antireflection;
  • reflectors;
  • beam splitters;
  • combiners