Wave Optics

Walter Frei | June 22, 2015

A question that we are asked all of the time is if COMSOL Multiphysics can model laser-material interactions and heating. The answer, of course, depends on exactly what type of problem you want to solve, as different modeling techniques are appropriate for different problems. Today, we will discuss various approaches for simulating the heating of materials illuminated by laser light.

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Walter Frei | June 18, 2015

When solving wave electromagnetics problems with either the RF or Wave Optics modules, we use the finite element method to solve the governing Maxwell’s equations. In this blog post, we will look at the various modeling, meshing, solving, and postprocessing options available to you and when you should use them.

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Walter Frei | May 27, 2015

Whenever we are solving a wave electromagnetics problem in COMSOL Multiphysics, we build a model that is composed of domains and boundary conditions. Within the domains, we use various material models to represent a wide range of substances. However, from a mathematical point of view, all of these different materials end up being handled identically within the governing equation. Let’s take a look at these various material models and discuss when to use them.

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Walter Frei | May 14, 2015

Metals are materials that are highly conductive and reflect an incident electromagnetic wave — light, microwaves, and radio waves — very well. When using the RF Module or the Wave Optics Module to simulate electromagnetics problems in the frequency domain, there are several options for modeling metallic objects. Here, we will look at the Impedance and Transition boundary conditions as well as the Perfect Electric Conductor boundary condition, offering guidance on when to use each one.

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Walter Frei | March 9, 2015

When using the COMSOL Multiphysics software to simulate wave electromagnetics problems in the frequency domain, there are several options for modeling boundaries through which a propagating electromagnetic wave will pass without reflection. Here, we will look at the Lumped Port boundary condition available in the RF Module and the Port boundary condition, which is available in both the RF Module and the Wave Optics Module.

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Fanny Littmarck | April 8, 2014

The Mach-Zehnder modulator is a type of optical modulator used for communication applications. To understand how it works and how to optimize its design, you can use the COMSOL simulation software.

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Lexi Carver | March 12, 2014

Have you ever wondered why boaters wear polarized sunglasses? It’s because sunlight reflecting off the water is primarily polarized in one direction, and polarized sunglasses will block this component of the reflected light, thus reducing glare. To understand why this is, we can use COMSOL software. This example solves the governing Maxwell’s equations using the RF Module or Wave Optics Module to simulate light incident at an angle upon a dielectric medium, and the solution shows agreement with analytic solutions.

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Walter Frei | January 17, 2014

We often want to model an electromagnetic wave (light, microwaves) incident upon periodic structures, such as diffraction gratings, metamaterials, or frequency selective surfaces. This can be done using the RF or Wave Optics modules from the COMSOL product suite. Both modules provide Floquet periodic boundary conditions and periodic ports and compute the reflected and transmitted diffraction orders as a function of incident angles and wavelength. This blog post introduces the concepts behind this type of analysis and walks through the […]

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Fanny Littmarck | October 8, 2013

A Gaussian beam that is striking an array of nanorods is an example of optical scattering. Consider metallic nanorods that are very close together and have a diameter much smaller than the wavelength of a Gaussian beam that falls upon them. If the beam were to be polarized along the rods, they would act as though they were not actually individual rods, but a sheet of metal. The array is nearly transparent to the wave when it is polarized perpendicular […]

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Walter Frei | August 30, 2013

Recently, I was given a copy of the book Finite Element Modeling Methods for Photonics, by B.M. Azizur Rahman and Arti Agrawal. This book proved to be a good companion to the RF Module and Wave Optics Module for graduate students starting in photonics and new users of COMSOL who would like a very targeted introduction to the field. The website accompanying the book comes with some sample computer codes used by the authors in simulation that readers can use […]

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Bjorn Sjodin | May 7, 2013

The new COMSOL Multiphysics Wave Optics Module provides engineers with a great set of features for designing their simulations. One of the new capabilities included in this module is the groundbreaking beam envelope method for electromagnetic full-wave propagation. We hope this feature will become instrumental to the optics community.

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