INSTITUTE OF APPLIED PHYSICS - Applied Computa- tional Optics

Applied Computational Optics

The Applied Computational Optics Group deals with the development of physical-optics-based approaches for modeling and design of optical systems. In our approach, light is represented by vectorial electromagnetic fields. And, from the source model on, it brings great advantages by enabling the representation of sophisticated light e.g. partially coherent diode laser, or ultrashort pulses. Setting off from the source, the physical-optics modeling of the optical system means to solve Maxwell's equations on the system level. Instead of employing a single solver for the whole system, we follow the concept of tearing and interconnection, i.e., to decompose the system into regions, apply regional Maxwell solvers in either rigorous manner or with certain mathematical approximations, and match the boundary values amongst regions to form the solution to the complete system. In particular, the regional solvers can be evaluate in different domains, e.g., spatial frequency domain, and by using the solvers in different domains in combination, the fast physical optics simulation of the system becomes feasible.

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Fig. 1: Modeling of an exemplary system with field tracing techniques. The system is split into regions and various regional Maxwell solvers are applied. In this case, solvers for free space, SLM, prisms, lenses, and gratins are marked out. The solvers can be evaluated in different domains e.g. the spatial or the spatial frequency domain. With Fourier transform, fields in different domains can be connected, and the sequence of regional Maxwell solvers and Fourier transform to form the field tracing diagram. (rights: IAP)

Together with our colleagues at LightTrans, we are able to transfer our physical and mathematical achievements into software product - VirtualLab Fusion. The software enables the solving of Maxwell's equations on system level, by following the basic tearing and interconnection concept in field tracing. It includes a brand-new non-sequential field tracing engine from 2018 on, with various regional solvers onboard. Furthermore, the Applied Computational Optics group is constantly developing new solvers for different situations, for example, the mode solvers for optical fibers and waveguide, the calculation of BSDF data, and also special solvers for nonlinear optical phenomena.