Light Shaping

VirtualLab Fusion supports light shaping by freeform surfaces, diffractive beam splitters and pattern generators. Also diffusers, and general arrays of micro-optical components are included, but not limited to. Finally, our fast optical design software supports light shaping by micro-lens arrays.

VirtualLab Fusion enables the design and the simulation of illumination systems for shaping, splitting, diffusing and homogenization of both laser and LED light. The emphasis of the software package is on the use of lens arrays, diffractive optical elements and cell arrays consisting of gratings, mirrors and prisms. For the designed components, fabrication data can be exported in several formats including STL and GDSII; the interaction with SLMs is also supported. Fast physical optics simulation and optimization algorithms enable the design of these optical elements. The modeling takes into account diffraction, interference, polarization and degree of coherence.


  • User-friendly guided design method of light-deflecting elements including partial coherence and dispersion effects. 
  • Ray tracing through diffractive elements.
  • Analysis of fabrication tolerances and optimization of the design regarding fabrication constrains.
  • VirtualLab Fusion provides a platform for the construction of a digital twin for your optical system, thus facilitating the investigation of the influence of different elements on the performance of the overall system (for instance, the effect of lens aberration on the quality of a shaped beam).
  • Export of fabrication data for various surface shapes including quantized interfaces, like binary masks and diffractive lenses.
  • Unsurpassed flexibility to define detector functions, including energy quantities, polarization, coherence, spatiotemporal femtosecond pulse quantities, amplitude and phase, dot diagrams, wavefront error, and aberrations.

Selected Topics

Expand the boxes below and/or click on the links for more detailed info. 

Refractive Optics

Refractive beam shapers enjoy widely extended use in many fields and for numerous applications, like the transformation, in laser optics, of Gaussian beams into other shapes more suited to the intended purpose (a top hat, for instance, provides a more homogeneously distributed intensity). More exotic transformations are brought about by the growing popularity of freeform optics, where any fabrication symmetry in the component is eschewed in favor of increased design freedom.

The ability of VirtualLab Fusion to consider not just the beam shaping elements themselves, but also the physical characteristics of the source (polarization, coherence, etc.) opens the door to elevated modeling and design capabilities; 

  • guided, user-friendly design
  • import of measured fabrication errors
  • export fabrication data
  • evaluation of tolerancing

are just some of the possibilities when it comes to refractive optics modeling and design with VirtualLab Fusion.

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Diffractive Optics

Making use of diffraction phenomena to obtain the desired pattern of light is the working principle behind beam splitters, spatial light modulators (SLMs) and many other optical elements. VirtualLab Fusion puts the tools at your disposal to, among others,

  • take advantage of a guided, user-friendly design concept
  • optimize high-NA beam splitters to eliminate distortion
  • investigate the combination in a general system of the diffractive optics with other optical components (like real lenses)
  • export fabrication data of the designed element
  • design beam splitters for arbitrary target patterns

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Diffusers are another big category in the realm of light shaping. The roles they play in optical systems are manifold, including

  • generating a homogeneously intense light distribution (illumination systems and lighting)
  • eliminating bright spots
  • more generally, creating a bespoke spatial light distribution (intensity profile)

VirtualLab Fusion provides a platform to efficiently and successfully design and model diffractive diffusers. 

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Microlens and Microcell Arrays

Microcell arrays have been gaining traction of late as yet another element in the world of light shaping. The nature of the unit cell covers

  • lenses and other refractive elements (such as freeforms)
  • mirrors and 
  • gratings,

with the added freedom of allowing the unit cells to either be replicated, or distinct from one another. VirtualLab Fusion and its fast physical optics concept permit the ray and physical optics analysis of such devices (in combination with source characteristics like polarization, coherence and dispersion), also enabling their design and optimization through an intuitive, guided user interface. 

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LightTrans GmbH

Phone +49.3641.53129-50

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