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In this paper, a hybrid algorithm of binary lightning search algorithm and simulated annealing (BLSA-SA) is proposed to optimize the design of multilayer microwave absorbers for normal incidence. The multilayer absorber is designed to find a set of coatings that minimize the reflection coefficient over the desired frequency. The design problem is translated into solving the binary problem. Three different design examples are presented to verify the performance of the BLSA-SA. The results showdoi:10.2528/pierb17060302 fatcat:josdnqmoargihp4fk3rw2bxvu4