Challenges in Simulation and Design of Optical Systems

Dr. Michael Kuhn

July 27, 2007, 9 a.m. HF 136

The simulation of light and its propagation through optical systems is of increasing interest for the development of both, production devices and consumer products. For the design of modern optical components the full electromagnetic information of the light is required. Then the traditional ray tracing methods are no longer sufficient. On the other hand, even state-of-the-art numerical methods cannot solve Maxwell's equations for macroscopic devices (size of several meters) and the corresponding wavelengths (400..700 nm) using standard PCs.

In this talk, we discuss simulation techniques based on Domain Decomposition ideas and local approximations of the physical model. Some results, including designs of diffractive beam shaping elements, using the optical engineering software "Virtual-Lab(TM)" ( are presented.