A Variety of Tools for Simplifying Optics Simulation
The Wave Optics Module allows for simulation of optical media with inhomogeneous, anisotropic, nonlinear, and dispersive material properties, such as conductivity, refractive index, permittivity, or permeability. To do this, COMSOL Multiphysics gives you access to the relevant 3-by-3 tensor, if your property is anisotropic, or allows you to enter any arbitrary algebraic equations for these material properties for nonlinear, inhomogenous, and dispersive materials. For sweeps over wavelength or frequency, you can define material properties that include expressions in the frequency or wavelength variable. This flexibility in accessing the underlying equations and mathematics that describe the material properties makes the Wave Optics Module perfect for modeling hard-to-describe materials, such as gyromagnetic and metamaterials with engineered properties. It also includes valuable features for simulating Floquet-periodic structures with higher-order diffraction modes, and graded index materials.
Consider the Effects of Other Phenomena on Wave Optics
As with all COMSOL products, the Wave Optics Module seamlessly integrates with COMSOL Multiphysics and the other add-on modules. That integration enables you to couple other physics with the propagation of electromagnetic waves. For instance, you can monitor laser heating, or the effect of structural stresses and deformations on the propagation of light through your optical devices and components.
Accurate Optical Modeling with the Innovative Beam Envelope Method
In time-dependent studies of electromagnetic wave propagation you often assume that all variations in time occur as sinusoidal signals, making the problem time-harmonic in the frequency domain. The Wave Optics Module has a number of interfaces for simulating such phenomena. You can also simulate nonlinear problems where the distortion of the signal is small, thanks to certain features included in the module. If the nonlinear influence is strong, a full time-dependent study of your device is required.
When solving optics propagation problems using traditional methods, a significant number of elements is required to resolve each propagating wave. Small wavelengths are invariably involved when simulating light propagation. Typically, large amounts of computational resources are required when you are modeling components and devices that are large as compared with the wavelength. Instead, the Wave Optics Module approaches these types of simulations using the innovative beam envelope method.
This novel method for electromagnetic full-wave propagation overcomes the need for traditional approximations, by direct discretization of Maxwell’s equations. Here, the electric field is expressed as the product of a slowly varying envelope function and a rapidly varying exponential phase function. This allows for accurate simulations of optically large systems where the geometric dimensions can be much larger than the wavelength, and where light waves cannot be approximated with rays. The conventional electromagnetic full-wave propagation method is also available in the Wave Optics Module, and can be appropriately used in smaller geometries.