According to the maximum principle in thin film optics multilayer designs are optimal at least at the normal light incidence. Nevertheless multilayer designs featuring spectral properties typical for inhomogeneous coatings are not widespread. This is connected with the computational problems related to the design of multilayers with large number of layers. This paper shows that using needle optimization technique it is possible to design multilayer counterparts to rugate filters. These multilayers possess even better spectral properties than their inhomogeneous prototypes.
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Alexander V. Tikhonravov and Michael K. Trubetskov
Design of multilayers featuring inhomogenous coating properties
", Proc. SPIE 2776, Developments in Optical Component Coatings, 48 (August 19, 1996); doi:10.1117/12.246843; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.246843