Design of diffractive optical elements through low-dimensional optimization
Peters, David W.
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The simulation of diffractive optical structures allows for the efficient testing of a large number of structures without having to actually fabricate these devices. Various forms of analysis of these structures have been done through computer programs in the past. However, programs that can actually design a structure to perform a given task are very limited in scope. Optimization of a structure can be a task that is very processor time intensive, particularly if the optimization space has many dimensions. This thesis describes the creation of a computer program that is able to find an optimal structure while maintaining a low-dimensional search space, thus greatly reducing the processor time required to find the solution. The program can design the optimal structure for a wide variety of planar optical devices that conform to the weakly-guiding approximation with an efficient code that incorporates the low-dimensional search space concept. This work is the first use of an electromagnetic field solver inside of an optimization loop for the design of an optimized diffractive-optic structure.