The performance of optical coatings may be negatively affected by the deleterious effects of mechanical stress. In this work, we propose an optimization tool for the design of optical filters taking into account both the optical and mechanical properties of the substrate and of the individual deposited layers. The proposed method has been implemented as a supplemental module in the OpenFilters open source design software. It has been experimentally validated by fabricating multilayer stacks using e-beam evaporation, in combination with their mechanical stress assessment performed as a function of temperature. Two different stress-compensation strategies were evaluated: (a) design of two complementary coatings on either side of the substrate and (b) implementing the mechanical properties of the individual materials in the design of the optical coating on one side only. This approach has been tested by the manufacture of a Fabry–Perot etalon used in astronomy while using evaporated and films. We found that the substrate curvature can be decreased by 85% and 49% for the first and second strategies, respectively.
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