Improved User Interface for Diffraction Modeling Programs

Case ID:

In addition to its powerful simulation capabilities, OptiScan solves a common problem with optical simulation codes. Often it takes a significant amount of time for a student or engineer to learn how to use a either in-house or commercial programs. A unique aspect of OptiScan is its graphical user interface (GUI) that makes programming much less complicated and makes OptiScan easy to use. In one case a student started with no knowledge of the program and was producing results in less than one hour.



Optical data storage systems require a great deal of sophistication in their design and analysis. It is often necessary to simulate portions of the optical system with ray tracing or diffraction modeling. This technology introduces new computer software called OptiScan that operates in the MATLAB™ language environment. OptiScan combines many of the routines developed at The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences over the last several years for modeling optical data storage systems and other applications, as well as some new capabilities.

The motivation for developing the OptiScan software came from an interest in combining a collection of command line software into an easy to use package. Over the last ten years, this research group has developed many very powerful simulation software codes for various applications, like optical data storage and laser scanning. By combining all of these software codes into a single package with a graphical user interface, the learning curve has dropped sharply while output by researchers in the group has increased dramatically.



  • Design and simulation of optical systems ranging from optical data storage to laser scanning systems
  • Design of Diffractive Optical Elements, Computer Generated Holograms, Finite-Different Time Domain Modeling and Rigorous Coupled Wave Theory



  • Graphical User Interface makes optical system design fast and easy
  • Allows addition of user-defined optical design formulas adding additional capability and cutomization to the system
  • Runs in the widely available Matlab™ software environment so all of the Matlab commands are available to OptiScan users
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Lewis Humphreys
Licensing Manager, Eller College of Mngmt & OTT
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Thomas Milster