Exploring Thin Film Interference Colors through Simulation

By Tanya Faltens

Purdue University

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This resource will guide instructors and independent learners through the process of simulating the reflections off of a thin film using the S4: Stanford Stratified Structure Solver simulation tool.  Examples of a freely standing thin film (a soap bubble) and a thin film of silicon dioxide on a silicon wafer are presented.  Some reference to thin film interference and the colors average humans perceive when viewing different energies (or wavelengths) of light are included. 

The simulations can be easily used in conjunction with other learning materials available on nanoHUB and elsewhere, such as oxidation of silicon wafers and SCME's Deposition Overview.


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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Tanya Faltens (2014), "Exploring Thin Film Interference Colors through Simulation," https://nanohub.org/resources/21667.

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