A Fast Hybrid Method for Analysis and Design of Photonic Structures
This thesis presents a very efficient hybrid method for analysis and design of optical and passive photonic devices. The main focus is on unbounded wave structures. This class of photonic systems are in general very large in terms of the wavelength of the driving optical sources. The size of the problem space makes the electromagnetic modelling of these structure a very challenging problem. Our approach and main contribution has been to combine or hybridize three methods that together can handle this class of photonic structures as a whole. <br /><br /> The basis of the hybrid method is a novel Gaussian Beam Tracing method GBT. Gaussian Beams (GB) are very suitable elementary functions for tracing and tracking purposes due to their finite extent and the fact that they are good approximations for actual laser beams. The GBT presented in this thesis is based on the principle of phase matching. This method can be used to model the reflection and refraction of Gaussian beams from general curved surfaces as long as the curvature of the surface is relatively small. It can also model wave propagation in free space. The developed GBT is extremely fast as it essentially uses simple algebraic equations to find the parameters of the reflected and refracted beams once the parameters of the incident beam is known. Therefore sections of the systems whose dimensions are large relative to the optical wavelength are simulated by the GBT method. <br /><br /> Fields entering a photonic system may not possess an exact Gaussian profile. For example if an aperture limits the input laser to the system, the field is no longer a GB. In these and other similar cases the field at some aperture plane needs to be expanded into a sum of GBs. Gabor expansion has been used for this purpose. This method allows any form of field distribution on a flat or curved surface to be expanded into a sum of GBs. The resultant GBs are then launched inside the system and tracked by GBT. Calculation of the coefficients of the Gabor series is very fast (1-2 minutes on a typical computer for most applications). <br /><br /> In some cases the dimensions or physical properties of structures do not allow the application of the GBT method. For example if the curvature of a surface is very large (or its radius of curvature is very small) or if the surface contains sharp edges or sub-wavelength dimensions GBT is no longer valid. In these cases we have utilized the Finite Difference Time Domain method (FDTD). FDTD is a rigorous and very accurate full wave electromagnetic solver. The time domain form of Maxwell's equations are discretized and solved. No matrix inversion is needed for this method. If the size of the structure that needs to be analyzed is large relative to the wavelength FDTD can become increasingly time consuming. Nevertheless once a structure is simulated using FDTD for a given input, the output is expanded using Gabor expansion and the resultant beams can then be efficiently propagated through any desired system using GBT. For example if a diffraction grating is illuminated by some source, once the reflection is found using FDTD, it can be propagated very efficiently through any kind of lens or prism (or other optical structures) using GBT. Therefore the overall computational efficiency of the hybrid method is very high compared to other methods.