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A finite element beam propagation method for simulation of liquid crystal devices

Pieter J. M. Vanbrabant, Jeroen Beeckman, Kristiaan Neyts, Richard James, F. Anibal Fernandez
2009 Optics Express  
An efficient full-vectorial finite element beam propagation method is presented that uses higher order vector elements to calculate the wide angle propagation of an optical field through inhomogeneous, anisotropic optical materials such as liquid crystals. The full dielectric permittivity tensor is considered in solving Maxwell's equations. The wide applicability of the method is illustrated with different examples: the propagation of a laser beam in a uniaxial medium, the tunability of a
more » ... nability of a directional coupler based on liquid crystals and the near-field diffraction of a plane wave in a structure containing micrometer scale variations in the transverse refractive index, similar to the pixels of a spatial light modulator.
doi:10.1364/oe.17.010895 pmid:19550490 fatcat:kj2cwi3kvzcw5cwoqfeu6smqya