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FilmStar benefits your work in optical thin film coatings.

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The FilmStar DESIGN Free Version is a powerful implementation with fixed indices. It may be all that is required for your purposes.

Go to FilmStar home page

FilmStar Optical Thin Film Software is a suite of Windows programs for designing, manufacturing, and measuring optical coatings. Coatings are applied to glass and other surfaces by high vacuum deposition. FilmStar is distinguished by its ease-of-use and connectivity to deposition monitors and spectrophotometers. FilmStar stands alone in the ability of its users to customize and automate.

Go to Scantraq home page

Scantraq is a standalone version of FilmStar MEASURE, marketed to chemists and spectroscopists and supporting UV/Vis/IR data acquisition and analysis from current and legacy PerkinElmer and other models. With its built-in development tools, Scantraq provides a powerful alternative to the software supplied by instrument manufacturers. Agilent (HP) 8453 users may be surprised to know that serial (USB) is supported.

Razor-billed AUK

What could this bird possibly
have to do with Optical Thin Films?

FilmStar includes a powerful but easy-to-use equation processor based on AWK, a programming language named after its three Bell Labs developers and symbolized by a bird with the same pronunciation.

In FilmStar, AWK enables User-Defined Functions, Double Dispersion (very thin films!), and n&k for Alloys and Mixed Materials. Complications like Temperature-Dependent Indices are readily modeled. If you need these advanced capabilities, you need FilmStar!

Learn more!
Optimize User-Defined Functions in the DESIGN Free Version. View our PowerPoint (or YouTube) and e-mail or phone (+1 609-924-6222) to arrange a personal online presentation.

Optical Coating Quality Control


Too high: lose order.
Too low: lose money.

Take the QC Highway to Higher Yields

Saving %R and %T spectra? Insufficient! You must also save info about each curve in order to sort, select, analyze and improve. After all, you can't plot Y vs. X if you only know Y. We make it easy with FilmStar Database code and online support far beyond that provided by instrument manufacturers. And if you're too busy to adapt our sample source code we'll do it for you!

Do you have tens of thousands of files in a Spectra directory? In the FilmStar Database, that's one file to back-up, sort, search and analyze, thereby meeting ISO-9000 goals and security requirements.

Set the Right Price

BBAR EXAMPLE 1: You've been delivering AR coatings averaging <1.0% and your customer now requires <0.5%. What's the correct new price? Try for yourself! (Write access to C:\Windows\Temp required.)

FileMaker 45 Day FREE TRIAL Windows 10/11
BBAR_Demo.fmp12 BBAR database file
QA_Demo.xlsm Excel BBAR % yield calculator

Want a preview before downloading? Watch our YouTube (1 minute, no audio) or contact us for an online demo including source code.

BBAR EXAMPLE 2: Assume maximum <0.5% and average <0.25%. Which technician deserves a pay raise?

The 12th Commandment

Society of Vacuum Coaters TechCon 2021

Specifying n&k in
Optical Thin Film Calculations


Click here for help extracting n&k from %T and %R spectra.
Wondering about #11? Thou shalt have more targets than wiggles.

Filter Buyers Demand Excel QA Reports

In the 'good old days', an acceptable quality assurance report was a strip-chart trace stamped  PASSED .

Filter buyers now require Excel reports as in this FREE EXAMPLE derived from FTG automation solutions. Of course, you're not limited to bandpass designs; e-mail or call +1 609-924-6222 to discuss your requirements.

StellarNet Support
StellarNet Support

StellarNet Support

Lots of parts? Why scan with a slow double-beam spectrophotometer when an inexpensive near-instant diode-array instrument meets optical requirements? And what about optics too large for sample compartments?

Our new StellarNet Server simplifies operation and supports MEASURE as well as 32/64-bit Excel. EVERYONE has Excel; there's no better way to distribute QA results.

And when you do need that slow high resolution double-beam instrument like PE Lambda or Agilent Cary, you are able to use the same MEASURE software: one software, many instruments.

Click here to learn more and contact us to discuss QA procedures and automation solutions.

Optical Coating Quality Assurance

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Quality Assurance Procedure

Taste one and you know they're all good. But that doesn't apply to optical coatings when protocols demand 100% inspection! As manual QA is slow and error-prone, you need to automate procedures and reports as in our Bandpass and Edge Filter Excel workbooks. PerkinElmer and Agilent can't help you, but we can with FilmStar MEASURE.

E-mail or call +1 609-924-6222 today to discuss requirements and arrange your personal webinar. MEASURE supports PE Lambda/FTIR, Cary UMA, Pike autosamplers, Nicolet FTIR, OOItemperature controllers, etc.

Do it yourself (it's not string theory) or request a turnkey FTG solution.

Why FilmStar? YouTubes

Optical Coating Business Software (7:04, no audio) Coating is a business, so take advantage of popular business applications.

A Tale of two Spectrometers (1:17) Lower costs and increase efficiency with one program running all your instruments.

Why FilmStar MEASURE? (2:03) Automation! That's why. FilmStar interfaces with ancillary hardware and software like Excel. Examples:
     Optical properties as a function of temperature
     Absolute Reflectance/Transmittance Analyzer (ARTA)
     Cary UMA (Excel support way beyond CSV)
     Marine oil analysis (YouTube 3:00, look for the Lambda 850)

FilmStar Graph Automation (2:47) The professional graphs you need for QA reports, web pages and quotations.

Why you need the FilmStar Database (3:48) The FilmStar-FileMaker Pro interface. More info! Contact us for an online demo.

Coating Both Sides

Extinguishing the flame, cooling, reheating and grilling the second side is clearly NOT an option for burgers.

But when coating optics on both sides, you do have two options: A. Two pump-downs, B. Single pump-down with a flip fixture. The economics are simple: PHDCPHDC vs. PHDDC (Pump Heat Deposit Cool).

The Option B strategy requires coating software that predicts %R or %T as a function of layer thickness while flipping the optic. Click here to see how it's done. It's a bit tricky, so read carefully and/or contact us for an interactive online explanation.

Included Books

Certificate of Training


Practical Design and
Practical Production
of Optical Thin Films
    Ronald R. Willey, Instructor

Two 3-day Live Online Courses for new
and experienced optical coating engineers...

Month Design
JUN 2023 6 - 8 13 - 15
AUG 2023 8 - 10 15 - 17
OCT 2023 3 - 5 10 - 12
DEC 2023 5 - 7 12 - 14

FilmStar DESIGN provided for course use.
Click here for a course introduction on YouTube.

Self-study packages including books
and course videos are also available.

For further information please contact Ron Willey
(+1 231-237-9392) or visit

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   Copyright 2023 FTG Software Associates
Last updated on May 01, 2023