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7 May 2013 Multi-scale simulation of an optical device using a novel approach for combining ray-tracing and FDTD
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Optimizing the properties of optical and photonic devices calls for the need to control and manipulate light within structures of different length scales, ranging from sub-wavelength to macroscopic dimensions. Working at different length scales, however, requires different simulation approaches, which have to account properly for various effects such as polarization, interference, or diffraction: at dimensions much larger than the wavelength of light common ray-tracing techniques are conveniently employed, while in the (sub-)wavelength regime more sophisticated approaches, like the socalled finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) technique, are used. Describing light propagation both in the (sub-)wavelength regime as well as on macroscopic length scales can only be achieved by bridging between these two approaches. Unfortunately, there are no well-defined criteria for a switching from one method to the other, and the development of appropriate selection criteria is a major issue to avoid a summation of errors. Moreover, since the output parameters of one simulation method provide the input parameters for the other one, they have to be chosen carefully to ensure mathematical and physical consistency. In this contribution we present an approach to combine classical ray-tracing with FDTD simulations. This enables a joint simulation of both, the macro- and the microscale which refer either to the incoherent or the coherent effects, respectively. By means of an example containing one diffractive optical element (DOE) and macroscopic elements we will show the basic principles of this approach and the simulation criteria. In order to prove the physical correctness of our simulation approach, the simulation results will be compared with real measurements of the simulated device. In addition, we will discuss the creation of models in FDTD based on different analyze techniques to determine the dimensions of the DOE, as well as the impact of deviations between these different FDTD models on the simulation results.
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Claude Leiner, Susanne Schweitzer, Volker Schmidt, Maria Belegratis, Franz-Peter Wenzl, Paul Hartmann, Ulrich Hohenester, and Christian Sommer "Multi-scale simulation of an optical device using a novel approach for combining ray-tracing and FDTD", Proc. SPIE 8781, Integrated Optics: Physics and Simulations, 87810Z (7 May 2013);

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