1) Design of optical coatings based on Maxwell equations
2) Optical properties of materials in form of thin films
3) Categories of coatings and filters (high-reflectance mirrors, antireflection coatings, narrow-band filters, blocking filters, beam splitters, etc.)
4) Effect of the oblique incidence and polarization of the radiation
5) Impact of the space environment on the optical performance
6) Technologies of coating manufacturing and characterization methods.
Optical coatings are widely used in space instrumentation and in some cases they represent even the most critical elements of the instrument. A large class of coatings and filters is based on interference phenomena that take place in layered structures; however an important role in their behavior is also played by the materials properties. The selection of materials and the design of the coating structure will be described, depending on both the required performance and the operational wavelengths.
Many types of coatings will be analyzed: high-reflectance mirrors, antireflection coatings, narrow-band filters, blocking filters, beam splitters, etc., highlighting the critical aspects. The effect of the angle of incidence and polarization, as well as the influence of the environment conditions will be discussed. Examples of application in space instruments will be also shown.