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We have studied the optical properties (complex dielectric function) of bulk SrTiO3 and thin films on Si and Pt using spectroscopic ellipsometry over a very broad spectral range, starting at 0.03 eV [using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) ellipsometry] to 8.7 eV. In the bulk crystals, we analyze the interband transitions in the spectra to determine the critical-point parameters. To interpret these transitions, we performed band structure calculations based on ab initio pseudopotentials within the local-density approximation. The dielectric function was also calculated within this framework and compared with our ellipsometry data. In the FTIR ellipsometry data, we notice a strong lattice absorption peak due to oxygen-related vibrations. Two longitudinal optic (LO) phonons were also identified. In SrTiO3 films on Si, the refractive index below the band gap decreases with decreasing thickness because of the increasing influence of the amorphous interfacial layer between the SrTiO3 film and the Si substrate. There is also a decrease in amplitude and an increase in broadening of the critical points with decreasing thickness. In SrTiO3 films on Pt, there is a strong correlation between the crystallinity and texture of the films (mostly aligned with the Pt pseudosubstrate) and the magnitude of the refractive index, the Urbach tail below the bulk band edge, and the critical-point parameters. FTIR reflectance measurements of SrTiO3 on Pt (reflection–absorption spectroscopy) show absorption peaks at the LO phonon energies, a typical manifestation of the Berreman effect for thin insulating films on a metal. The Urbach tail in our ellipsomety data and the broadening of the optical phonons in SrTiO3 on Pt are most likely caused by oxygen vacancy clusters.