Method For Laser Source Definition in ZEMAX™

Method For Laser Source Definition in ZEMAX™

In a recent article, Alexander Brodsky and Natan Kaplan of Holo/Or present “a new method for simulating and optimizing both single and multi-mode lasers in Zemax™ by applying a scattering model.”

The abstract of the article follows:

By default, optical systems are usually designed for single mode lasers. Nonetheless, many industrial lasers have M2 in the range from 3 to about 100 and are often called “multi-mode” or “partially coherent” lasers. Among those laser sources are multi-mode fiber lasers, multi-mode fiber-coupled diode lasers, excimers, multi-mode solid-state lasers, and VCSEL arrays. While they have some disadvantages in terms of focus-ability, higher M2 lasers offer higher power than single mode lasers and require lower precision of optical elements in the system.

Unfortunately, Zemax™, one of the most common modelling software tools, does not offer a standard method for modelling multi-mode lasers in its sequential mode, thus compelling most designers to design for single-mode sources, and then try to account for the multi-mode effect by approximations. Even when designing for a single-mode laser, ray tracing tends to yield non-realistic results in places of interest such as lens focal planes.

In this article we discuss a new method for simulating and optimizing both single and multi-mode lasers in Zemax™ by applying a scattering model. This concept allows one to use geometrical ray tracing to achieve physical-optics-like results, including realistic spot size at lens foci, while still being fast and allowing for simple system optimization.

We first discuss the nature of lasers and the definition of M2. Afterwards we demonstrate our new scattering model method for ray tracing simulations and show the results. In the last section we present specific case studies to show the effectiveness and limits of the method.

To read the complete article, click here.

Blog, Holo/Or, Lasers, Optics