Self-focusing is observed in nonlinear materials owing to the interaction between laser and matter when laser beam propagates. Some of numerical simulation strategies such as the beam propagation method (BPM) based on nonlinear Schrödinger equation and ray tracing method based on Fermat’s principle have applied to simulate the self-focusing process. In this paper we present an iteration nonlinear ray tracing method in that the nonlinear material is also cut into massive slices just like the existing approaches, but instead of paraxial approximation and split-step Fourier transform, a large quantity of sampled real rays are traced step by step through the system with changing refractive index and laser intensity by iteration. In this process a smooth treatment is employed to generate a laser density distribution at each slice to decrease the error caused by the under-sampling. The characteristics of this method is that the nonlinear refractive indices of the points on current slice are calculated by iteration so as to solve the problem of unknown parameters in the material caused by the causal relationship between laser intensity and nonlinear refractive index. Compared with the beam propagation method, this algorithm is more suitable for engineering application with lower time complexity, and has the calculation capacity for numerical simulation of self-focusing process in the systems including both of linear and nonlinear optical media. If the sampled rays are traced with their complex amplitudes and light paths or phases, it will be possible to simulate the superposition effects of different beam. At the end of the paper, the advantages and disadvantages of this algorithm are discussed.
Xiaotong Li, Hao Chen, Weiwei Wang, Wangchao Ruan, Luwei Zhang, and Zhaofeng Cen, "Numerical simulation and comparison of nonlinear self-focusing based on iteration and ray tracing," Proc. SPIE 10228, Nonlinear Optics and Applications X, 102280V (Presented at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics: April 25, 2017; Published: 16 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2265790.
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