SPIE Industry Workshop

Modeling and Design of Diffractive and Meta-lenses with VirtualLab Fusion

06 February 2019
San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Room 12 (South Exhibit Level), Moscone Center

This workshop is held in cooperation with ZEMAX/OpticStudio®.

Learning Outcomes

  • Import of lens system with binary surface from OpticStudio® into VirtualLab Fusion.
  • Transfer from binary surface (wavefront function) into a real diffractive lens or meta lens structure.
  • Design of meta and diffractive lenses by functional design approach in VirtualLab Fusion and its application to the example of a holographic projection system for AR/MR.
  • Fast physical optics modeling of system with diffractive and meta lenses including all electromagnetic effects.
  • Export of fabrication data for lenses.

The growing importance of diffractive and meta-lenses in modern optical systems makes it vital to investigate and understand their capabilities. Both defined as thin structured layers etched or deposited on a surface, the difference between them lies in the scale of the structures: sub-wavelength range in the case of meta-lenses, wavelength range for diffractive. The underlying surface can be either plane or curved, with the latter case presenting particular challenges in fabrication, when it is at all feasible to manufacture. The effect sought with the inclusion of such components in an optical system is to produce a change in the incident wavefront; additional electromagnetic phenomena, often detrimental to the overall performance of the element, can and do occur, and must, therefore, be considered.

That is precisely one of the highlights of this workshop: we will show you how to include diffractive and meta-lenses in optical lens systems and how to perform a full fast physical optics simulation of the overall system, which accounts for all resulting effects, including higher diffraction orders (e.g. for multiple foci in intra-ocular lenses). The preliminary design of the diffractive and meta-lens elements may be based on an optimization of the wavefront transformation (binary surface) in OpticStudio®, with the resulting system subsequently imported into VirtualLab Fusion. We will then demonstrate how to design the lens structure of the corresponding diffractive (surface or volume) or meta-lens (nano-fin type). Another route we will illustrate is via the so-called functional design approach, which directly provides the lens structure for a given requested lens functionality. Once the diffractive or meta-lens has been designed (following one of the paths outlined above) the whole system can be analyzed with Fast Physical Optics to gauge its overall performance. The lens structure can eventually be exported as fabrication data for lithography or other manufacturing processes.

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