LightTrans

VirtualLab Fusion Release 2021.1

Solution-Driven Applications

After several months of development, we provide all users of our software VirtualLab Fusion with the new version 2021.,1 with many new features which enable solutions of more applications. Version 2021.1 comprises further developments of the field tracing technology and new components, sources, and detectors. With each new version we try to simplify the usage of the modeling features in VirtualLab Fusion. The seamless transition from a full physical optics modeling to a ray optical modeling is one of the amazing features of VirtualLab Fusion.

Read more in our Release Notes

Release Highlights

Get an overview of the new developments in areas like Microlens Arrays, Crystals, Anisotropic Layers and a new workflow for our users to enjoy the transition from ray optics to a full physical optics modeling by simply applying different modeling levels which can be easily selected.

Linearly Polarized (LP) Fiber Modes

We provide a Fiber Mode Calculator to analyze and investigate LP Bessel and LP Laguerre modes for step index and parabolic index fibers.
LP modes are also used in the new Multimode Fiber Coupling Efficiency Detector, which evaluates the overlap integral of the incident beam with the LP modes. The new LP Mode Source facilitates the propagation of LP modes through any optical system.

Fiber Mode Calculator

We provide a Fiber Mode Calculator to analyze and investigate LP Bessel and LP Laguerre modes for step index and parabolic index fibers.

LP Mode Source

The new LP Mode Source facilitates the propagation of LP modes through any optical system.

Single fiber modes can be generated, after users set:

  • the working wavelength, and
  • the fiber structure
    - step index fiber
    - graded index fiber

Multimode Fiber Coupling Efficiency Detector

LP modes are also used in the new Multimode Fiber Coupling Efficiency Detector, which evaluates the overlap integral of the incident beam with the LP modes.

The coupling efficiency can be calculated, after users configure the fiber structure:

  • step index fiber
  • graded index fiber

Anisotropic Media & Coatings

Any type of crystals can be included in system modeling by the new Crystal Plate Component.
Anisotropic layers can also be added to all surfaces to exploit the extra freedom in terms of polarization control and multiplexing in optical systems.

Crystal Plate Component

Any type of crystals can be included in system modeling by the new Crystal Plate Component.

The Crystal Plate component can be found in Components:

  •  Index Modulated & Crystals
  • Crystal Plate

Anisotropic Layers

Anisotropic layers can be added to all surfaces to exploit the extra freedom in terms of polarization control and multiplexing in optical systems.

Anisotropic coatings can be found in the coating Catalog and applied to all optical surfaces in VirtualLab Fusion.

Multiple Source Component

With the new Multiple Source Component, we make the first step to significantly extend the source modeling in VirtualLab Fusion by enabling the use of different and shifted sources.

Multiple Source Component

With the new Multiple Source Component we take the first step to significantly extend the source modeling approach in VirtualLab Fusion by enabling the simultaneous use of different and shifted sources.

Advanced Simulation of Micro Lens Array

A new Microlens Array (MLA) Component enables accurate and fast modeling of the ever-increasing number of applications of MLA.

Microlens Array

The new Microlens Array (MLA) Component enables accurate and fast modeling of the ever-increasing number of applications of MLAs.

It provides the possibility to define a microlens array and other more general periodic height profiles.

Selected Use Cases

Browse through our selection of newly developed use cases closely related to the 2021.1 Release for deeper insights into the individual applications.
And, more generally, become familiar with our extensive use case collection.

Investigation of Propagated Light Behind a Microlens Array

With the advent of modern technologies in the area of optical projection systems and laser material processing units, the request of more specialized optical components becomes more and more pressing. One type of component that is frequently used in these areas are microlens arrays. To fully understand the optical characteristics of such components, the simulation of the propagated light at various positions behind the microlens array is necessary. In this use case we investigate the field after the component in the near field, the focal zone, and the far field.

Read the full Use Case
 

Ince Gaussian Modes

Apart from Hermite- and Laguerre-Gaussian modes there is a third kind of rigorous and orthogonal solution family for the paraxial wave equation – the so-called Ince Gaussian modes. These solutions are defined in elliptical coordinates and have the benefit of allowing for a transition between Hermite- and Laguerre-Gaussian modes by means of an elliptical parameter. These modes have advantages in the area of optical tweezers and particle-trapping applications. This use case presents the Ince-Gaussian Beam Source in VirtualLab Fusion and shows how to define an individual mode.

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Observation of Vortex Array Laser Beam Generation from Ince-Gaussian Beam

Ince-Gaussian modes are the third complete family of exact and orthogonal solutions of the paraxial wave equation alongside the Hermite-Gaussian and Laguerre-Gaussian modes. Ince-Gaussian modes have a diversiform transverse pattern. In this document, following in the steps of Chu et al. [Opt. Express 16, 19934-19949 (2008)], a Dove prism-embedded unbalanced Mach-Zehnder interferometer is used to simulate the generation of vortex array laser beams based on Ince-Gaussian modes. The resulting vortex array laser beam generated by the proposed interferometric setup maintains its beam profile during propagation, also through a focus. Thus, the proposed vortex array laser beams hold great promise for application in optical tweezers and atom traps in the form of two-dimensional arrays.

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Focusing of an Ince-Gaussian Beam

Ince-Gaussian modes are a well-known exact and orthogonal solution family for the paraxial wave equation. This kind of source mode can be advantageous for different applications in the areas of optical tweezers and particle trapping. In this use case we demonstrate the focal properties of the Ince Gaussian Beam Source in VirtualLab Fusion by propagating the modes through a GRIN medium. This medium represents a thermal lens, an effect which can be encountered often in applications for high-energy laser beams.

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Demonstration of van Cittert-Zernike Theorem

Young’s double-slit experiment was carried out with a spatially extended, partially coherent source. In this document, we use the Multiple Light Source to set up the extended source so that the disturbances at the slits are a mixture of incoherent and coherent radiation, and the vibrations are therefore partially correlated. The characteristic blurred interference fringe is obtained, and the van Cittert-Zernike theorem, which studies how the complex degree of coherence varies with propagation distance, is demonstrated.

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Few-Mode Fiber Coupling under Atmospheric Turbulence

Free-space optical communication uses free space as a medium between transceivers, e.g., fibers. For longer propagation distances of the optical beam in free space, the atmospheric turbulence effects cannot be ignored. In this use case, we reproduce the experiments of Zheng et al. [Opt. Express 24 (2016)] to explore the atmospheric turbulence effects on the coupling efficiency between the free-space optical beam and few-mode fibers. 

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Investigation the Aberration Effects on the LP Fiber Modes

Fibers are widely used as sources in optical systems. Investigating the effects of the aberrations of the optical system on the propagation of the fiber modes is therefore worthwhile. In this use case, we employ a specific fiber, either step- or graded-index, as a source to generate a couple of propagating modes, and evaluate the diffraction pattern after the propagation of said modes through an aberrated optical system.

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Modeling of an Array of Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) Diodes

Arrays of vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) diodes are of interest for various applications, e.g. beam splitters and pattern generators. In order to be able to investigate optical systems with this kind of light source an appropriate source model is required. In this document it is shown how a VCSEL array source can be modeled in VirtualLab Fusion.

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Modeling of VCSEL Source by Two Uncorrelated Laguerre-Gaussian Modes

Vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) diodes are of interest for numerous applications, such as optical sensors and pattern generators. In order to be able to investigate these kinds of setups in VirtualLab Fusion, an appropriate source model is required. In this use case, we demonstrated how to achieve the desired intensity distribution of a specific VCSEL source via parametric optimization of two uncorrelated Gaussian modes with the help of the multiple light source.

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Conical Refraction in Biaxial Crystals

When circularly polarized light propagates through a biaxial crystal along one of its optic axes, the transmitted field evolves into a cone, a phenomenon which is known as conical refraction. Several applications have been developed based on this effect, such as Bessel beam generation and optical tweezers. With the fast-physical-optics simulation technology in VirtualLab Fusion, conical refraction from a KGd crystal is demonstrated.

Read the full Use Case
 

Polarization Conversion in Uniaxial Crystals

When a linearly polarized beam is focused and then propagated through a uniaxial crystal, even when along the optic axis, complicated conversions may take place between different polarization components. Such an effect can be utilized for e.g. generation of optical vortices. Taking calcite crystal as an example, the conversion of polarization in uniaxial crystals is demonstrated in VirtualLab Fusion. The optical vortices generated within the process are visualized.

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Simulation of a Shack-Hartmann Sensor

For any kind of design process for modern optical applications, information on the energy density and the phase of an incoming field are from critical value. The wavefront of the incident light can be deformed as it propagates through a system because of various reasons. A quite common tool to measure this deformation is the so-called Shack-Hartmann Sensor, which uses a microlens array to visualize the wavefront of an incoming field through the displacements of the corresponding spots in the focal plane. In this use case we demonstrate this behavior by propagating fields with variously shaped wavefronts (a plane wave and two spherical waves with different values of the numerical aperture) through a microlens array.

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Influence of the Position of the Stop in a Lens System

Stop in a lens system is important because it directly determines the light interaction with the edge of the aperture of the lens surface, which exsited physically in the manufactured lens system. Therefore, different positions of the stop might have an influence on the Point Spread Function (PSF). VirtualLab Fusion provides an ease way to investigate this influence by considering the diffraction, if necessary, from the edge of each surface, especially with inclined illumination.

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Simulation of Multilayer Birefringent Reflective Polarizer with VirtualLab Fusion

Multilayer birefringent reflective polarizers have big advantages in liquid crystal display (LCD) applications. They can recycle the backlight so as to improve the optical efficiency of LCDs. In this use case, we reproduce the experiments in Li et. al. J. Display Technol. 5, 335-340 (2009) to explore the relationship between the number of alternate birefringent layers and the Bragg reflection condition in VirtualLab Fusion. Then the variation of the reflectance efficiency with different wavelengths and incident angles is further investigated.

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Advance Simulation of Micro Lens Array with VirtualLab Fusion

Microlens arrays are getting more and more attention in various optical applications, such as digital projectors, optical diffusers, and 3D imaging. VirtualLab Fusion applies an advanced field tracing algorithm to simulate this multi-channel situation. In this use case, the configuration method and usage of the Microlens Array component are introduced.

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Optically Anisotropic Media in VirtualLab Fusion

Optical anisotropy, also known as birefringence, is the reason for various optical phenomena and the related applications. VirtualLab Fusion provides a fast and rigorous field tracing analysis algorithm which applies an S-matrix solver and works in the k-domain. In this use case, the basic configuration of an anisotropic medium is introduced.

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LP Fiber Mode Calculator

The Fiber Mode Calculator can be used to calculate linearly polarized (LP) propagation modes in a cylindrically symmetric fiber, either  step-index with a single core or graded-index with an infinite parabolic profile. The corresponding polynomials to describe these modes are Bessel for step-index fibers and  Laguerre for graded-index fibers. This use case shows how to use the calculator and the configuration of the sampling parameters of mode fields.

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Simulation of Multiple Light Source with VirtualLab Fusion

Being able to include multiple light sources in a system is fundamental for many applications, like imaging or illumination. VirtualLab Fusion provides advanced options to tackle this kind of challenges. In this document, we provide a brief overview of how to set up multiple light sources and give several simulation examples.

Read the full Use Case
 

Whitepapers and Technical Information

Here we provide you with a variation of whitepapers accompanying our new release to provide you with deeper technical background.
This collection will be constantly updated so please check back again.

Introduction to the Release 2021.1 by Frank Wyrowski

With each version we try to simplify the usage of the modeling features in VirtualLab Fusion. The seamless transition from a full physical optics modeling to a ray optical modeling is one of the amazing features of VirtualLab Fusion. It is fully based on a sophisticated mathematical concept in which we use integral (FFT) and pointwise (PFT) Fourier transforms. We use a generalized Fresnel number to switch between the FFT and the PFT automatically or in a customized way. With the version 2021.1 we provide a new workflow for our users to enjoy the transition from ray optics to a full physical optics modeling by simply applying different modeling levels which can be easily chosen. The workflow leads through the following modeling techniques for a given system:
 

  • Ray tracing which generates the rays in a 3D view of the system.
  • Ray tracing with the evaluation of the detectors in the system.
  • Field tracing at level 1: Physical-optics modeling of system in which diffraction can be neglected or is of no concern, e. g., in far-field light shaping by freeform surfaces, interferometry, and light guides. Level 1 is a good start for any system to get a fast initial understanding of the system performance.
  • Field tracing at level 2: In addition to the modeling in Level 1 now diffraction effects in the detector regions are included. This is of particular importance for detectors in the focal region of the fields. The investigation of the image plane in a lens system is a typical application of Level 2.
  • Field tracing at level 3: This is a fully automatized level which includes all physical optics effects. By starting from Level 1 and go via 2 to Level 3 the user can nicely investigate the differences and by that the importance of the effects in the system for the result.
  • Customized level: Of course, the full customization of the modeling is still available for the experienced users.

It should be emphasized, that we add some special considerations on the propagation of the source modes. Let us consider the case of a Gaussian mode. If the Gaussian beam starts in its waist, its divergence is fully dominated by diffraction. After propagating a distance of a few Rayleigh lengths, the radius of the wavefront phase curvature expresses the divergence as well. Thus, often we need to include diffraction in the very beginning of the system, even if it is not needed in the rest of it. This option is added in the new version. Also, in the ray tracing configuration this option is available to include diffraction-induced effects in the ray generation. That enables accurate ray tracing, e. g., for Gaussian beams also.
The new workflow to use VirtualLab Fusion comes with a strengthened and more transparent logging of the field tracing steps in the simulations. To simplify the investigation of the modeling steps we added a first version of a Modeling Analyzer, which provides the input and output fields of all field operations along a sequence in the modeling tree.
Besides the major developments in the usage of the modeling engines in VirtualLab Fusion, we added many new features to the modeling itself.
A new Microlens Array (MLA) Component enables accurate and fast modeling of the ever-increasing number of applications of MLA. For this modeling we do not use the Thin Element Approximation (TEA) anymore, but the much more accurate Local Plane Interface Approximation (LPIA). The challenging part in this development was the inclusion of the diffraction at the boundaries of the microlenses and the interference effects of the light which passes different lenses on its further way through the system. By some major developments we now provide a solution of this modeling challenge in version 2021.1. The good news is that the underlying developments open the door for many more applications like random lens arrays, diffusers, and similar regular and irregular array concepts. You may expect that in the version 2021.2 later this year.
The inclusion of crystal modeling in systems is enabled by the new Crystal Plate Component. Here we restrict to a cuboid shape but allow any kind of crystal axes and orientation. The solver is based on a S-matrix for anisotropic layers which are included in version 2021.1 as well. Such layers can be also put onto curved surfaces.
We add an LP solver for step index and parabolic index fibers in the new version 2021.1. This solver is accessible in the Fiber Mode Calculator, which analyzes and investigates LP Bessel and LP Laguerre modes of step index and parabolic index fibers. The solver is also applied in the new Multimode Fiber Coupling Efficiency Detector, which evaluates the overlap integral of the incident beam with the LP modes. The modes can also directly be used in the new LP Mode Source, which allows the propagation of LP Bessel and LP Laguerre modes through any optical system. In the next version 2021.2 you may expect a new multimode fiber component which enables the propagation of light through multimode fibers.
Users often asked us for a more flexible source model. We have started to generalize our source model. With the new Multiple Source Component, we make the first step to significantly extend the source modeling in VirtualLab Fusion by enabling the use of different and mutually shifted sources. The work on version 2021.1 was still dominated by fundamental developments in the modeling engines which are not always obvious to the user. But these developments are the basis and guarantee of many new features and solutions to come in the next releases. For more information and new features see the Release Notes and related material in the dialogues.

Jena, July 2021 Frank Wyrowski

Read more in our User's Manual

Seamless Transition from Ray to Physical Optics

This new workflow enables a seamless transition from ray to full physical-optics modeling. This way we simplify the usage of the amazing modeling features in VirtualLab Fusion.

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Generation of Rays for Ray Tracing

In this Workflow we show, how we perform a physical optics propagation from the source plane to the first surface of the system and generate the rays there.

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Fourier Transforms in VirtualLab Fusion

Fourier transforms connect representations of functions in different domains. By that they enable the selection of modeling and evaluation techniques in the most favorable domain in terms of computation speed and compactness of techniques.

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Field Tracing Accuracy Settings

Here we focus on the accuracy of sampling and the Fourier transform selection. They can be adjusted in the major Simulation Settings (Field Tracing) in each modeling level and in the customized mode of field tracing.

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Step-by-Step Field Tracing with Modeling Analyzer

Physical-optics modeling in VirtualLab Fusion is initialized by the light path finder algorithm, which searches for all possible light paths through the system for a given configuration of component channels.

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Connecting Solvers by Master Channels

VirtualLab Fusion enables fast physical-optics system modeling by connecting different solvers instead of applying one universal solver to the entire system. This technology is enabled by a channel concept. The Light Path Finder in VirtualLab Fusion (see Step-by-Step Field Tracing with Modeling Analyzer) searches for channel surfaces with finite extent which are placed in space.

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Truncation of Fields at Boundaries

One key technique for fast physical-optics modeling with VirtualLab Fusion is the channel concept which enables connecting solvers (see Connecting Solvers by Master Channels). Fields enter channels through the channel master region which may be subdivided into subregions (see High Flexibility by Subchannels).

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High Flexibility by Sub-Channels (x-Domain)

We have started to enable the optional decomposition of a master region into subregions in x-domain which form the entrance to subchannels.

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Release Notes

Are you curious about all new features, applications and innovations in our Release? Then dive into the explanations given in our Release Notes Document:

Release Notes (PDF)

User Experience

Let us know your opinion about the new Release 2021.1. In particular, send us your suggestions and feature requests to make your work with VirtualLab Fusion even more enjoyable. We await your opinion and feature requests at user-experience (at) lighttrans.com.

Find answers to our most commonly asked general and technical questions regarding VirtualLab Fusion here.
 

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