I simulated an optical system in both sequential and nonsequential modes. I used a Gaussian entrance beam for my system and then, compared the results of "Physical optics" in sequential mode and "coherent irradiance" in non-sequential mode.
The problem is that the results don't coincide with each other!
Now, I want to know which one is more accurate and reliable?
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POP (within sequential mode) accounts for diffraction at each surface and can be set up for a coherent input beam such as a Gaussian beam.
Non-sequential mode simply traces rays. It does not account for diffraction at surfaces or at the exit pupil. It does, however, allow you to model diffraction at a diffraction grating. It also keeps track of the phase of a ray and so you can model coherent interference (eg in an interferometer).
Non-sequential mode will propagate rays even if part of the beam actually misses a lens or other component. Sequential mode will not do that. The main application is usually illumination systems.
I would say the best way to describe the difference is that sequential mode is important when you are interested in the micro-scale, eg spot sizes and resolution. Non-sequential mode is best when you are not interested in the micro-scale, eg illumination from a street light.
For your case it looks like POP would be best.