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Optical Engineering & Design

Wednesday 11th October 2017

Optical designers are working with more and more challenging projects and need to bring into their designs more elements, different materials and more difficult calculations/considerations.

At this meeting we hear presentations on subjects of relevance to users of photonics technologies and designers of components, instruments and systems.

The most common software packages will all be presented, with issues and improvements being discussed along with real examples of how designers have taken their designs from paper to end product.

Subjects to be covered include: designing of imaging systems, lenses, luminaires and lighting. Cameras, communications, energy, lasers, MEMS, microscopy, mirrors, nano-science, photovoltaic systems, sensing systems, telescopes, and more…


10.20 Introduction and Welcome  
  SESSION 1 : Chair Beric Read  
10.30 3D Laser writing inside transparent materials using ultrashort pulses
Dr Patrick Salter, University of Oxford, UK

A number of different features can be written in three dimensions inside a diverse range of transparent materials using ultrashort pulse laser fabrication. Focusing inside a transparent substrate, non-linear absorption of the light dictates that any material modification is localised to the laser focus, with no modification to the surface or surrounding regions. Meanwhile the ultrashort nature of the pulse ensures a high level of confinement in 3D, allowing sub-micrometre structures to be machined inside materials. I will demonstrate the benefits of using adaptive optics to enhance the laser processing, through aberration correction for accurate fabrication deep inside materials and generation of multiple foci for highly parallel fabrication. Potential applications will be discussed for different technologies, ranging from photonic components in glass to wires written inside diamond for radiation detectors.


Solid state reflective displays (SRD®), using phase-change materials as the new modulator for improved colour and fast switching
Peiman Hosseini, Bodle Technologies, UK

The unique light modulating properties of chalcogenide based phase change materials have recently been applied to a variety of new and exciting optoelectronic systems far beyond traditional data storage applications. In this presentation we will discuss their use in reflective type displays applications where speed, resolution, large colour gamut and flexibility are beyond the technological reach of existing technologies. Reflective type displays are displays were information is readily available to the user without the need for a bright and energy consuming backlight to be constantly on. We will present the unique challenges that must be overcome in order to adopt a material traditionally designed for data storage applications to an information display system. A number of solutions to the aforementioned challenges will be presented and analyzed.

11.10 Full-wave modelling of the optical and electromagnetic characteristics of ultra-fast photodiodes
Dr Michele Natrella, UCL, UK
11.30 Bridging the gap between optical technology and manufacturing capability
Colin Williams, Precision Engineering Consultant, UK

The application of novel optical systems has transformed the world in which we live and the creativity continues to increase, placing high demands on the generation of new technologies. So too, has the capability to design increasingly complex systems with the advancement of computing since the 1980’s. This has placed great emphasis on the importance of manufacturing capability keeping pace with the concepts and designs that are produced. In many instances, process development extends beyond the predicted terms defined in the project plan due to inadequate process and experimental design in conjunction with inadequate understanding of measurement capability. Coupled with this, process control in Optics was traditionally virtually non-existent, the skilled optician was able to achieve the desired results through experience of which variables to alter and manufacturing was very dependent upon the skill and experience of the optician. Lead times were difficult to adhere to due to the ambiguity of the duration for developing the new methods. Craft-based optical fabrication methods have been superseded with computer-numerical-controlled (CNC) techniques which offer greater repeatability and reproducibility with less experienced operators. A key benefit with CNC technology was the advent of mass-producible asphere and freeform surfaces in relatively short cycle times. The CNC domain offered a stable and repeatable platform but required a detailed understanding of the critical manufacturing variables. This could only be achieved by taking a more methodical approach to process development. These subjects will be discussed and various approaches will be presented which may address these issues.

11.50 Approaches to simulating multiple coupled physical phenomena in photonic devices using COMSOL Multiphysics®
Dr Simone Zonetti, COMSOL, UK

The COMSOL Multiphysics® software is used widely in industry and academia for simulating photonic devices, particularly when couplings between multiple physical phenomena are of key importance. In this talk, we will show how simulations of such systems can be carried out in COMSOL Multiphysics® through three quick demonstrations. First, we examine the deformation of focussing lenses as they are heated by the passage of a high-powered laser beam, coupling heat transfer and mechanical and optical physics. In the second demonstration, thermal expansion effects in a waveguide are considered and the subsequent splitting of the modes in the waveguide (birefringence) due to the deformation is observed. Finally, we show how electromagnetic radiation and semiconductor physics can be coupled to simulate devices such as LEDs and photodetectors and combine this with a custom user interface in the form of a COMSOL app, allowing the simulation to be distributed to a wider group of people.

12.10 - break - in the exhibition hall, delegates are encouraged to visit the exhibition and meet some of the 100+ exhibitors.
13.20 Introduction to session  
  SESSION 2: Chair Jon Maxwell  
13.30 Optimisation of liquid crystals for switchable contact lenses
Professor Cliff Jones, University of Leeds, UK
13.50 Image quality in retinal imaging
Peter Wakeford, Optos Plc, UK

Optos (a Nikon company) specialises in the design and manufacture of scanning laser ophthalmoscopes for use in the clinical diagnosis of retinal pathologies. The ultra-widefield scan captures 200 degrees of the retina in a third of a second, and allows early detection of disease in the retinal periphery. Image quality is important for any imaging system, but in the case of medical imaging devices it is particularly important -- any pathology must be shown as clearly as possible for clinical diagnosis. In this talk, an overview of the image quality tests used during manufacture will be presented.
Desensitization Of Optical Systems During The Optimization Process

Yan Cornil, Light Tec GmbH, Germany
14.30 From bench to bedside: Optical technologies for advanced clinical
endoscopic imaging

Dr George Gordon, University of Cambridge, UK

To date, clinical endoscopy procedures have typically relied on white-light imaging, which replicates the functionality of the human eye, for locating and diagnosing diseases such as cancer.  However, this modality is limited in its ability to discriminate diseased tissue from healthy.  Preliminary studies are beginning to show the benefits of using the full gamut of optical properties, including multispectral illumination/detection, polarimetry, phase imaging and fluorescence.  Consideration of engineering, manufacturing and economic aspects will be critical to eventual clinical translation of these techniques.  This talk will introduce techniques for endoscopic polarimetric, phase and hyperspectral imaging and then introduce technologies we are developing to enable future clinical translation, including capsule endoscopes and plasmonic metasurfaces.


Design of lidars for remote wind speed measurement
Dr Matthew Warden, Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics

Doppler wind lidars are laser based sensors that can measure wind speed up to several kilometers away from the lidar unit. They are routinely used to help wind turbines achieve the best possible energy output and to help increase airport capacity by allowing flights to land closer together whilst avoiding turbulent air from the aircraft in front.

The operational principle of these wind lidars is based around measuring the Doppler shift of laser light, transmitted from the lidar, that is scattered back toward the lidar by small particles such as dust and pollen grains. The speed of the scattering particles, and hence the wind, can be deduced from the magnitude of the Doppler shift.

A common challenge in the design of a Doppler wind lidar is maximising the signal to noise ratio of the detected backscattered light. This is largely determined by the light collecting ability of the lidar, and is hence linked to parameters such as the receiving telescope aperture, the presence of aberrations in the telescope, and the existence of atmospheric turbulence.

This presentation will give an overview of a Doppler wind lidar at the system level and then discuss some design challenges such as achieving an acceptable signal to noise ratio of the detected backscattered light.

15.10 Conclusion and end of meeting.  

Comsol Workshop


Simulating Photonics with COMSOL Multiphysics®

In this workshop, we will discuss using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software for photonics simulations; in particular, periodic structures and crystals. We will show how modelling can provide insight into the design and characterisation of photonic devices. This includes solving for the propagation of electromagnetic waves, even in the presence of wavelength-dependent material properties, as well as multiphysics effects like heating or mechanical loading.

(COMSOL Multiphysics is a registered trademark of COMSOL AB.)

16.30 Live Demonstration  
17.00 Networking in the exhibition hall  

The 2017 Conference and Industry Programme, run by Enlighten Meetings with its partners, covers application and technology advances, innovations and emerging technologies.

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Dr Sean Kudesia

Jon Maxwell


Beric Read
BJR Systems Ltd

Chloe Tartan
University of Oxford