Technical Conference:
13 – 18 May 2018
15 – 17 May 2018

SC410 - Finite Element Modeling Methods for Photonics and Optics

Tuesday, 15 May
12:00 - 15:00

Short Course Level:

Instructor: Arti Agrawal, City Univ., UK

Short Course Description:

Numerical modelling and simulation of optical devices and components is a key tool in improving performance by reducing time and monetary costs, design optimization and characterization as well as innovating new ideas. Both passive and active devices are modelled and optimized numerically. In some cases simulation is the only way to explore phenomena where technology is not advanced enough for fabrication. The interaction of the optical beam with physical effects such as non-linearity, stress, strain, change in refractive index due to temperature, application of electric fields etc. are now extremely important. Modelling complements experimental work perfectly and almost no research is conducted without it.

The Finite Element (FE) method is one of the most popular and powerful methods for modelling in Photonics. This short course starts with Maxwell’s equations and explains the basic principles of numerical modelling and the key assumptions involved. This foundation is used to develop the FE method, including a brief tour of the mathematics. How the method can be applied to various optical devices is discussed in detail. How can physical effects be included with the FE method for modelling is considered. The course ends with an explanation of FE based beam propagation methods and how these can be used to find the evolution of the optical fields.

Some salient features of the short course include:

  • Emphasis on practical application of FEM for modelling of devices

  • Discussion on developing code

  • Perfectly Matched Layer  and Periodic boundary condition

  • Generating mesh for structures, post-processing of results

  • Discussion on popular commercial software such as COMSOL and how to best utilize them

 Methods covered include:

  • Full vector Finite Element method for modal solution

  • Introduction to inclusion of physical effects with the optical model

Practical illustrations include:

  • Optical fibers including photonic crystal fibers

  • Si slot waveguides, nanowires and high index contrast structures

  • Bent waveguides and loss

  • Plasmonic waveguides


Short Course Benefits:

  • Identify and explain basic principles of numerical modelling in Photonics

  • Discuss and explain Full vector Finite Element Method (FEM) for modal solutions

  • Introduction to FEM with physical effects (non-linearity, stress/strain, acousto-optic, electro-optic effect etc.)

  • Discuss and explain how to incorporate Perfectly Matched Layer  and Periodic boundary condition

  • Summarize how to generate mesh for structures and post-processing of results

  • Tips on how to best utilise commercial software

  • Discuss the application of the method to practical devices: nano wires, optical fibers, sensors etc.

  • Identify the appropriate modeling method for their problem

  • How to incorporate PML boundary conditions and write your own code

Short Course Audience:

This course is intended for researchers, engineers and students who use simulation in their work in both fundamental and applied aspects of Optics and Photonics, especially for components and devices. The course is useful for members of both academic and industrial institutions. Basic background and familiarity in Optics will be sufficient.

Instructor Biography:

Arti Agrawal is an expert in numerical modelling methods for Photonics and has co-authored a text book “Finite element modelling methods for Photonics” published by Artech House. She is currently a Lecturer of Photonics in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering at City University London. Her research interests are modelling of photonics devices: spiral fibres, solar cells, photonic crystals etc. and development of numerical methods. She writes a blog

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