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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 24 — Nov. 19, 2012
  • pp: 26606–26617

Comparison between ray-tracing and physical optics for the computation of light absorption in capillaries – the influence of diffraction and interference

Yuan Qin, Andreas Michalowski, Rudolf Weber, Sen Yang, Thomas Graf, and Xiaowu Ni  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 24, pp. 26606-26617 (2012)

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Ray-tracing is the commonly used technique to calculate the absorption of light in laser deep-penetration welding or drilling. Since new lasers with high brilliance enable small capillaries with high aspect ratios, diffraction might become important. To examine the applicability of the ray-tracing method, we studied the total absorptance and the absorbed intensity of polarized beams in several capillary geometries. The ray-tracing results are compared with more sophisticated simulations based on physical optics. The comparison shows that the simple ray-tracing is applicable to calculate the total absorptance in triangular grooves and in conical capillaries but not in rectangular grooves. To calculate the distribution of the absorbed intensity ray-tracing fails due to the neglected interference, diffraction, and the effects of beam propagation in the capillaries with sub-wavelength diameter. If diffraction is avoided e.g. with beams smaller than the entrance pupil of the capillary or with very shallow capillaries, the distribution of the absorbed intensity calculated by ray-tracing corresponds to the local average of the interference pattern found by physical optics.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(080.0080) Geometric optics : Geometric optics
(260.1960) Physical optics : Diffraction theory
(260.3910) Physical optics : Metal optics
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(070.7345) Fourier optics and signal processing : Wave propagation

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: August 28, 2012
Revised Manuscript: October 26, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: October 29, 2012
Published: November 12, 2012

Virtual Issues
Vol. 7, Iss. 12 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Yuan Qin, Andreas Michalowski, Rudolf Weber, Sen Yang, Thomas Graf, and Xiaowu Ni, "Comparison between ray-tracing and physical optics for the computation of light absorption in capillaries – the influence of diffraction and interference," Opt. Express 20, 26606-26617 (2012)

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