The expression for the transmission of a thin weakly absorbing inhomogeneous film on a thick finite transparent substrate is manipulated to yield formulas for the refractive index and extinction coefficient. A procedure based on the envelope method is presented to determine the optical constant profile, the inhomogeneity, the mean refractive index, the degree of inhomogeneity, and the thickness of a film. Only the information contained in the trans mission monitoring curve is used and the process is simple, fast and can be easily carried out using a personal computer. The procedure presented in this paper can be used as a means of investigating the degree of inhomogeneity and the absorption of the films deposited by different coating methods and deposition conditions. It is shown that TiO2 him deposited on a heated substrate has a more desirable optical constant profile than one deposited on an unheated substrate. For ZrO2 him deposited on a heated substrate, the degree of inhomogeneity is greater whereas the absorption is lower than those of TiO2 films.
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