Research Letters

The use of a genetic algorithm in optical thin film design and optimisation

Efrem K. Ejigu, Beartys M. Lacquet
South African Journal of Science | Vol 106, No 7/8 | a203 | DOI: | © 2010 Efrem K. Ejigu, Beartys M. Lacquet | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 April 2010 | Published: 05 July 2010

About the author(s)

Efrem K. Ejigu, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Beartys M. Lacquet, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


We used a genetic algorithm in the design and optimisation of optical thin films and present the effects of the choice of variables, refractive index and optical thickness, in both applications of this algorithm, in this paper. The Fourier transform optical thin film design method was used to create a starting population, which was later optimised by the genetic algorithm. In the genetic algorithm design application, the effect of the choice of variable was not distinct, as it depended on the type of design specification. In the genetic algorithm optimisation application, the choice of refractive index as a variable showed a better performance than that of optical thickness. The results of this study indicate that a genetic algorithm is more effective in the design application than in the optimisation application of optical thin film synthesis.


crossover; Fourier transform; genetic algorithm; merit value; mutation; optimisation; starting population


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