June 16, 2021 7:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. CEST

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COMSOL Day: Optics & Photonics

See what is possible with multiphysics simulation

Join us and your fellow engineers and simulation specialists for COMSOL Day: Optics & Photonics for an introduction to the COMSOL Multiphysics® software`s capabilities and to explore modeling optical systems on various scales.

Discover modeling techniques for wave optics and ray optics, simulating quantum- and semiconductor-optical systems, interaction of light with matter on a thermal and electronic level.

You will hear about how simulation is being used by the experienced leaders in photonics industry and gain insight into the latest research in academia.

Upcoming projects, challenges, and focuses related to the simulation in the Optics & Photonics will be at the center of discussion.

Wheather you are considering using COMSOL Multiphysics® in your organization and want to see how it works, or an existing user looking to catch the latest news, this event has something for you.

Feel free to invite your colleagues. View the final schedule below and register for free today!


Welcoming Remarks
Parallel Sessions
Trends in Optics and Photonics Simulations

An overview of current challenges in simulating optics and photonics will start this COMSOL Day. This includes applying numerical modeling to systems ranging from the subwavelength scale to optically large systems. Robust modeling of these phenomena leads to better design and optimization of applications dependent on optical wave communication; media conductive to guiding photonic, microwave, and nanowave electromagnetic radiation; plasmonic materials and metamaterials; devices used in optical sensing and imaging; applications dependent on laser-material interaction; energy conversion through photonic means; and lighting.

Tech Café: Building Simulation Apps for the Optics Industry

Simulation applications enable you to expand the power of modeling by providing control over design and optimization decisions to colleagues who require simulations for such tasks. You can create user-specific modeling user interfaces and platforms best suited to your colleagues' simulation needs while also integrating ease of use into apps, making them applicable for traditionally nonmodeling engineers.

During this Tech Café, you will be able to discuss how best to develop simulation apps together with COMSOL engineers and other colleagues from industry. A selection of simulation applications from the field of wave and ray optics, including fiber optics, plasmonic wire gratings, a solar dish receiver designer, and a Si solar cell that combines the simulation of ray optics with semiconductor physics, will be available to be demonstrated and discussed on demand.

Parallel Sessions
Wave Optics Simulations in a Multiphysics Context

In this session, we will present an overview of the Wave Optics Module, especially when subject to other physics phenomena. This module solves the Maxwell equations to simulate an optical wave’s propagations, reflections, refractions, absorptions, scatterings, diffractions, and other optical phenomena in space dimensions that are similar in size or larger than the propagating wavelength. Typical applications are waveguides, gratings, photonic crystals, nanoantennas, resonators, lenses, couplers, modulators, filters, holograms, and optical fibers. In particular, we will cover wave optics multiphysics effects such as electro-optical, stress-optical, and semiconductor-optoelectronic couplings.

Tech Café: STOP Analysis

Modern optical systems are often required to operate in harsh environments, including high altitudes, space, underwater, and in laser and nuclear facilities. Such optical systems are subjected to structural loads and extreme temperatures. The most accurate way to fully capture these environmental effects is through numerical simulation via a structural-thermal-optical performance (STOP) analysis. STOP analysis is the quintessential multiphysics problem and will be discussed during this Tech Café. You will be able to share your experiences and ask questions of COMSOL engineers responsible for the implementation of features used to model such phenomena.


Hamed Sattari, CSEM

Silicon photonic MEMS promise for low-loss, low-power, and scalable photonic integrated circuits addressing emerging needs in the telecommunication domain. We present the implemented simulation methodology to design an analog phase shifter based on silicon photonic MEMS technology. The operation principle is based on a two-step parallel plate electrostatic actuation mechanism to bring a vertically movable suspended waveguide into proximity of the bus waveguide and tune the phase of the propagating coupled mode by tuning the vertical gap. Simulations predict that π phase shift can be achieved with an actuation voltage of 19 V, while the optical signal can be coupled between the moving waveguide and the bus waveguide with low loss in a wide wavelength range from 1.5 μm to 1.6 μm, keeping the average insertion loss below 0.3 dB.

First, optical simulations were performed in the RF and Wave Optics modules to define the waveguide geometries for an efficient phase shifting. Then mechanical and electrostatic simulations were performed in the Structural Mechanics, AC/DC, and MEMS modules to investigate deformation and failure modes of the component. By postprocessing of the simulations results, the actuation curve of the component was extracted.

Parallel Sessions
Ray Optics Simulations in a Multiphysics Context

This session will focus on modeling multiphysics phenomena using the Ray Optics Module, typically for systems encompassing reflection, refraction, or absorption phenomena where the geometry is large in comparison to the propagating wavelength. This module is used to model many applications, including lenses; cameras; interferometers; telescopes; monochromators and spectrometers; solar radiation and energy harvesting; laser focusing systems; cavity stability; graded index media; and lighting systems for rooms, buildings, and the automotive sector. We will explore modeling multiphysics phenomena based on ray tracing, such as in ray heat sources, and the effects of temperature gradients and deformed geometries on wave propagation. This is best simulated through the application of high-fidelity structural-thermal-optical performance (STOP) analysis.

Tech Café: Simulating Quantum-Optical Devices and Semiconductor-Optical Systems

Quantum effects are becoming increasingly exploited in technical applications such as computing processes, optical sensors, photonic-based communication media, and security systems. They are prevalent in applications such as the determination of photovoltaic cell efficiency and even the color of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In this Tech Café, we will explore the interaction between electronic and optic phenomena down to the level of single photons. The Schrödinger Equation interface in the Semiconductor Module will be an integral part of this Tech Café, as it allows users to model quantum-confined systems such as quantum wells, wires, and dots. In addition, optical transitions can also be incorporated into this interface to simulate a range of devices, such as solar cells, LEDs, and photodiodes.


Aurélien Maurer, Kejako SA

Ophthalmology has been relying on geometrical optics for centuries, from the simplest glasses to intraocular implant designs. The recent decades have seen the emergence of numerical simulation like ray tracing, but is it enough alone to understand and design the best solutions for the patient? Since 2015, Kejako has been extensively using multiphysics simulation for the development of an innovative femtosecond laser surgery for presbyopia. Through our different simulation works, we explore in this talk the key benefits and perspectives of coupling optics with other physics for the understanding, diagnosis, and design of solution and safety.

Break for Lunch
Welcome Back: Some Useful Resources
Parallel Sessions
Thermal Modeling of Lasers in Manufacturing Processes

The modeling of space- and time-varying heat application and transfer in manufacturing processes by using lasers will be covered during this session. This involves the manipulation of source terms in the specification of boundary and volumetric domain conditions through solving, among others, the Beer–Lambert law. The modeling of complicated motion paths will also be covered.

Applications of these demonstrated modeling techniques are useful for modeling laser heating processes, and can also be extended to include the modeling of ablation, phase change, and melt-pool simulations. Together, these can be applied to simulating medical and aesthetics treatment, noninvasive cancer surgery, welding, annealing, semiconductor processing, material polishing and microshaping, selective laser melting, and sintering.

Tech Café: Simulating Illumination and Lighting Systems

In this Tech Café, you will be able to discuss how best to model light sources, such as sunlight and LEDs, in applications such as rooms, buildings, and small enclosed spaces like automobile cabins. Along with fellow colleagues and COMSOL technical staff, we will discuss how the reflection of light from building surfaces, the propagation of light in pipes and tubes, and other applications can be simulated through manipulating the import of light source data from, e.g., IES files, the superposition of light sources, and the calculation photometric quantities.


Patrick Namy and Vincent Bruyere, SIMTEC

Laser processing has a wide application range, from welding to surface treatment, including drilling and additive manufacturing. As the laser matter interaction is a complex phenomenon, accurate numerical models have been developed by SIMTEC to describe these various processes used in industrial manufacturing. As the French leader of COMSOL Certified Consultants, SIMTEC assists industrial professionals in their research using innovative approaches. SIMTEC has acquired a strong experience in laser processes modeling by working through several industrial applications and by being involved in a European consortium related to laser surface texturing (SHARK project). An example of a strong collaboration with one of our clients is presented here. A laser processing thermal-hydraulic model is developed to predict the dimensions of the heat-affected and melted zones as well as the formation of porosities. Many physical phenomena are numerically considered within a two-phase flow approach like the “recoil pressure” generated by the vaporization process, the capillary and Marangoni effects, and thermodynamic phase changes. This numerical model is validated through experimental data comparisons concerning the size of heat-affected zones and the surface temperatures. Different applications and numerical results are finally presented and discussed to emphasize the use of this type of approach.


Computational modeling and simulation are an integral part of industrial and academic research, development, and optimization to produce better products faster, while expanding the boundaries of scientific knowledge. Trends in innovation and simulation involve the ability to model complex coupled phenomena, while engaging various stakeholders, including nonsimulation experts. In this panel discussion, experts from industry, academia, and government organizations will showcase how they are using multiphysics simulation to improve products by creating representative models for complex phenomena, while turning them into easy-to-use simulation apps. Attendees are welcome to ask the panelists questions and hear perspectives on their topics of interest.

Concluding Remarks

COMSOL Speakers

Sven Friedel
Managing Director, Switzerland
Sven Friedel established the COMSOL branch office in Switzerland in 2004. He received his PhD in physics from the University of Leipzig in the field of inverse electromagnetic problems. There, he also taught lectures in geomagnetism and volcanology before joining the Institute of Geotechnical Engineering at ETH Zürich as a postdoctoral researcher.
Andrea Radu
Applications Engineer
Andrea Radu is an applications manager at the Swiss COMSOL office. She's previously worked at ETH Zürich on porous media transport. Andrea is a chemical engineer with an MS in food science from Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand and a PhD from TU Delft in the field of membrane processes for water treatment.
Andreas Bick
Applications Engineer
Andreas Bick is an applications engineer at Comsol Multiphysics GmbH. He holds a PhD in physics from the University of Hamburg, where he studied ultracold quantum gases in noncubic optical lattices, hybrid quantum systems, optical resonators, and micromechanical systems.
Walter Frei
Principal Applications Engineer
Walter Frei has been with COMSOL since 2008. He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working on the optimization of photonic crystal microcavity lasers.
Christopher Boucher
Technical Product Manager
Chris Boucher is the technical product manager for the Particle Tracing Module, Ray Optics Module, and Molecular Flow Module. He received his BS degree in aerospace engineering and physics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) before joining COMSOL in 2012.
Ulf Olin
Senior Technical Product Manager
Ulf Olin is a product specialist within the electromagnetics group at COMSOL. Before joining COMSOL in 2011, he worked in optics research at the Institute of Optical Research in Stockholm and in optics and fiber optics research for various companies. He is also an associate professor (docent) of physics at KTH in Stockholm.
Yosuke Mizuyama
Managing Director, Japan
Yosuke Mizuyama joined COMSOL, Inc. in 2015 as an applications engineer, developing optics, photonics, and laser-related application models for the Ray Optics and Wave Optics modules. He has been the managing director at the Tokyo office since 2020. He received his PhD in applied mathematics from Kyushu University.
Roman Obrist
Applications Engineer
Roman Obrist is a technical sales and applications manager at COMSOL. He received his MSc in electrical engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil (HSR). There, he was a scientific researcher and project leader in the Computational and Applied Electromagnetics Group, dealing with customer-related research and teaching tasks.
Chien Liu
Technology Manager
Chien Liu is a senior member of the technical team at COMSOL, working with the MEMS and Semiconductor modules. Previously, he worked in R&D at Polaroid and Zink Imaging, where he coinvented the Zero INK technology. Chien has a PhD from Harvard University in applied physics and a postdoctorate from Rowland Institute for Science.
Lars Dammann
Applications Engineer
Lars Dammann has been an applications engineer at Comsol Multiphysics GmbH since 2016. He obtained his MSc in experimental solid-state physics at the University of Göttingen, where he studied the interaction of electrons and optical near fields using an ultrafast, low-energy electron diffraction experiment.
Zoran Vidakovic
Technical Sales Manager
Zoran Vidakovic joined the Swiss COMSOL office in 2010. He received his MS degree in mechanical engineering from ETH Zürich. At the Laboratory for Energy Conversion, he specialized in turbomachinery, heat transfer, and fluid dynamics. His industrial internship was completed in the R&D department of MAN Diesel & Turbo Schweiz AG.

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COMSOL Day Details

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June 16, 2021 | 7:30 a.m. CEST (UTC+02:00)
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Invited Speakers

Andrea Barbiero
Toshiba Europe Ltd
Christian Bosshard

Dr. Christian Bosshard received his degree in physics (1986) and his doctorate (1991, Silver medal award) from ETH. From 2001 to 2021, he was working at CSEM, first as section head and then as vice president and head of photonics. Since 2013, he has been the managing director of Swissphotonics. Christian is a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), board member of EPIC, and member of the board of the University of Basel.

Vincent Bruyère

Vincent Bruyère obtained his doctorate in mechanical engineering from INSA Lyon, where he focused on the modeling of lubricated contacts. After a postdoctorate in laser welding at the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, Vincent began working at SIMTEC as a modeling engineer. He mainly develops numerical models for applications involving fluid and solid mechanics, heat transfer, and electromagnetism.

Morgan Dal

Morgan Dal is an assistant professor at Arts et Métiers ParisTech (ENSAM) and Laboratoire PIMM. Morgan was recently qualified to conduct research (French HDR) and head the Laser Processing team. His research fields include numerical simulation of laser processes (6 PhDs); welding and additive manufacturing; experimental validations (2 PhDs), mainly through high-speed imaging; and thermal properties measurements (internships and postdoctoral contracts) in order to feed the simulations.

Aurélien Maurer
Kejako SA

Aurélien Maurer has worked at Kejako SA since its foundation in 2015. He holds a general engineering degree at Arts et Métiers ParisTech and an additional master's degree in bioengineering for neurosciences at ESPCI ParisTech. This academic background on the edge of clinical research and general mechanics led him to develop biomechanical simulations at Kejako from an engineering approach: reviewing all of the available literature with a structural mechanical approach, setting up reverse engineering experiments, automating 3D modeling from in vivo imaging to the development of disruptive solutions. He will eventually push the biomechanical simulations from an R&D point of view to a flexible patient-specific customization tool for surgery planning and optimization.

Patrick Namy

Patrick Namy is an engineer who graduated from ENSIMAG in 2001, earning his PhD in applied mathematics in 2004 from Joseph Fourier University. His thesis, for which he received an award, was about modeling living systems. Patrick is the founder and CEO of SIMTEC, which was created in 2006. He is passionate about mathematical and computer science applications to physics. He particularly enjoys conveying his knowledge to SIMTEC clients in order to help them become self-sufficient users of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

Niels Quack
EPFL, Switzerland

Niels Quack is an SNSF assistant professor at EPFL, leading the research group on photonic micro- and nanosystems. He holds an MSc from EPFL (2005) and a DrSc from ETH Zürich (2010). Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley (2011–2015) and senior MEMS engineer with Sercalo Microtechnology (2014–2015). He has authored or coauthored more than 100 contributions in leading technical journals and conferences and is a senior member of IEEE, as well as a member of OSA and SPIE.

Hamed Sattari

Hamed Sattari received MSc and PhD degrees in photonics telecommunication from the University of Tabriz, Iran, in 2010 and 2014, respectively. After his PhD, he joined the Research and Development Unit, Nanotechnology Research Center (NANOTAM), Bilkent University, Turkey, where he designed plasmonic nanoantennas. In September 2016, he was awarded as a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holder for a postdoctoral position with the Q-Lab, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). From 2017 to 2021, he was involved in silicon photonics projects with the goal of realizing MEMS-based reconfigurable components, including switches, phase shifters, and variable optical attenuators, at EPFL. He is currently at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), where he is focused on developing emerging integrated photonics platforms.

Flavia Timpu
ETH Zurich, Switzerland

As a post-doc in the Optical Nanomaterial Group at ETH Zurich, Flavia Timpu focused on creating photonic nanostructures that shape light efficiently over lengths shorter than the wavelength. She studied physics at ETH Zurich, where she then continued with a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Rachel Grange, working at the intersection of optics, photonics, and material science at the nanoscale.