[Webinar] Laser Applications with Ansys Zemax [Q&A]

  • 27 April 2022
  • 9 replies

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This thread is dedicated to the upcoming webinar: Laser Applications with Ansys Zemax. Any questions received during the webinar will be responded to as a reply on this thread. Feel free to post your own questions! The speaker will be notified and will respond as long as the thread is still open.

Be sure to subscribe to this thread if you want to see additional discussion regarding this webinar topic. The thread will be open to new replies until Friday, May 6th.


Webinar details

Register here: [The webinar has concluded]

Date: Thursday, April 28th

Time: 6:00 - 6:30 AM PDT | 11:00 - 11:30 AM PDT

Presenter: Flurin Herren, Application Engineer II at Ansys Zemax


Laser beam propagation requires unique considerations when setting up models in optical design software. OpticStudio has a wide range of tools and capabilities for modeling laser applications. This webinar demonstrates various laser applications and components that can be simulated using OpticStudio.

Allie 1 year ago

Watch the recording!

A recording of this webinar is available here: Laser Applications with Ansys Zemax


Tagging the folks who requested this during the webinar:

@RayBender, @tariq_self, @AminR   

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9 replies


Are the slides or video available?


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Hi @Gregory.Cappiello,

Thanks for your question! Our marketing team will send out an email with the link to the on-demand video later today. If you don`t receive said email, please reach out to events@zemax.com and ask for the video and the slides. My colleagues over there are happy to help you. 

Have a good weekend!

Userlevel 6
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Watch the recording!

A recording of this webinar is available here: Laser Applications with Ansys Zemax


Tagging the folks who requested this during the webinar:

@RayBender, @tariq_self, @AminR   

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@RayBender@AminR, @tariq_self 

Q: How do I download the slides?

A: You should have received an email from our marketing department with the on-demand video (I am not sure if the slides were included there). If you would like to have the slides and haven`t received them, please contact events@zemax.com.


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Q: For the POP analysis mode , I found there is no M2 beam quantity setting while paraxial gaussuan beam do
/ may you explain by that ? Thank you!

A: When optimizing your system with the POPD operand you can use Data 25 and Data 26 in order to get the M2 Parameter value, also known as Beam quality factor, towards a specific target value. For a ideal single mode this value is exactly one and is wavelength independent and unitless.

(You can find all the possible data points of the POPD operand within our Help File, here is the directory: The Optimize Tab (sequential ui mode) > Automatic Optimization Group > Merit Function Editor (automatic optimization group) > Optimization Operands by Category > Physical Optics Propagation (POP) Results)

The Paraxial Gaussian Beam Data approach also uses the M2 as a quality factor. In this approach the factor M2 can be thought of as “times the diffraction limited”-number, and is always greater than unity.

(More info on that can be found in on this Help File Page: The Analyze Tab (sequential ui mode) > Laser and Fibers Group > Gaussian Beams > Paraxial Gaussian Beam)

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Q: How do you deal with outputs Vcsel as objects / using Vcsel

A: You can use the Paraxial Gaussian Beam Calculator to calculate the Rayleigh range and the divergence. And then simulate the source accordingly to it in the System Explorer tab (E.g. Point source). 

Otherwise, you might want to switch to non-sequential mode and use the Source Radial to model the model the VCSEL as a complex source, here is a detailed Knowledge Base Article on how to do that:


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Q: Can we add sequential and NS component in single GUI/window?
/ Where we can find about afocal system? / to simulate laser, in which case we should prefer sequential and which case we should prefer NS? / I mean to say can I model NS in sequential mode?

A: Allow me to answer your questions one after the other:

  1. You can use the OpticStudio mixed mode to add non-sequential components in a sequential system, please make sure you read up on how to place the entry and exit port of the mixed mode section properly, here is the according Knowledge Base Article: How to model a mixed sequential/non-sequential system.
  2. If you need documentation on how to design a afocal system, please refer to our Knowledge Base. There you can find a vast variety of articles, one of them is the following: How to design afocal systems.
  3. In general I would say sequential mode is the better approach if you have a classical laser beam and you want to analyse its behavior/properties throughout a optical system, as you have analyse tools such as POP. That being said, as soon as we go towards interferometry and maybe a model of an optical cavity, a non-sequential approach is probably more useful.
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Q: Real laser beams are rarely Gaussian.  Even M-squared = 1.1 deviates enough from a Gaussian to cause issues with some systems. 
I wish we had a tool that would take a measured beam profile and perform a decomposition (Laguerre or Hermite) that enable a ray based or POP based propagation.

A: I think you got a good point there, the spatial filter we brought the M2 factor down to 1.04 which is a nearly perfect gaussian, so in that sense it makes sense to use that as a measurement. But as you correctly said it depends on the system as well.

About the Gaussian beam decomposition: On my first thought this is actually a great idea, and this might tackle some analysis problems. If you haven't done this already, why dont you raise this feature request about such a tool with support@zemax.com, we can have a look into it there and potentially file a internal request. 

Userlevel 6
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Hi all,

This thread is now closed! Thank you to @Flurin Herren for a great presentation and for following up on the questions received during the webinar!