Tools for edge emitting lasers

Quantum Well Gain Simulator
Photonic Integrated Circuit Simulator
Laser Library
Advanced Laser Modeling Extension
Waveguide Simulator

Tools for VCSELs:

Optical Multilayer Simulator
3D Electromagnetic Simulator
Quantum Well Gain Simulator

Tools for complementary analysis:

3D Electromagnetic Simulator
3D Charge Transport Simulator
3D Heat Transport Simulator

Lumerical offers an integrated set of tools to model many common edge-emitting laser topologies. Our hybrid modeling approach combines the accuracy of physical simulation with the performance and scale of photonic integrated circuit simulation. With our tools, you can design and model everything from SOAs and standalone FP and DFB lasers to complex external cavity DBR and ring or sampled grating Vernier lasers. These laser models can then be incorporated into complete photonic circuit models, providing insight into the complex behaviours that arise from integration, e.g. mode hopping from external parasitic feedback. This combination makes Lumerical’s laser simulation tools a perfect choice for demanding integrated laser designs in InP and silicon-hybrid systems for integrated photonics.

The core building block is the traveling wave laser model (TWLM) element in INTERCONNECT, which captures the interaction between propagating light and an active gain layer in a waveguide. The material gain material can be characterized by physical simulation using the MQW solver, which is well-suited for calculating stimulated and spontaneous emission spectra in common III-V semiconductors and their alloys. In concert with the FDE or FEEM eigenmode calculation, the combination of the TWLM and MQW gain solver help you build a complete physical picture of your laser. Time-domain simulation under arbitrary isothermal conditions enables the calculation of steady-state and dynamic characteristics including LI response, device gain spectra, SMSR, RIN, turn-on, direct modulation bandwidth and more. As a spatially distributed 1D traveling wave model, the TWLM self-consistently accounts for local carrier density effects, including longitudinal spatial hole burning that are critical for accurately modeling fundamental SOA and saturable absorber behavior. As part of an integrated laser solution, other Lumerical tools can be used to model passive optical components such as gratings, tapers and power splitters (FDTD and EME) and active optical components such as electrical and thermal phase tuning elements and photodetectors (CHARGE and HEAT).

INTERCONNECT and Laser Library

  • Traveling wave laser model (TWLM) based on 1D rate equation model
  • Displays turn-on and other dynamic behaviour
  • Light can travel in and out of both ports/facets and through the TWLM itself
  • May be used standalone as a Fabry-Perot Laser, DFB Laser, and semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA)
  • May be used in combination with other INTERCONNECT elements to model distributed Bragg reflector, ring, external cavity, and novel external feedback lasers
  • Key parameters such as gain and spontaneous emission can be imported from MQW
  • Characterize steady-state and transient laser performance, including threshold gain, lasing spectrum, SMSR, RIN, LI, turn-on, and modulation response


Multi-quantum well solver for the simulation of gain layer stacks consisting of multiple quantum wells:

  • Suitable for common III-V semiconductors with zincblende crystal structure
  • Returns gain, spontaneous emission, and refractive index change as a function of several inputs: charge density, external field, and temperature
  • Models light and heavy hole valence bands as non-parabolic using the k.p band structure model
  • Accessible through script commands with the use of visualizer for the outputs

Comprehensive Material Models in MQW

  • Includes material library with common III-V semiconductors
  • Automatically builds models for fractional semiconductor alloys (eg. InGaAsP)
  • Script accessible and customizable


Lumerical tools are interoperable through the Lumerical scripting language, Automation API, and Python and MATLAB APIs.

  • Build, run, and control simulations across multiple tools.
  • Use a single file to run optical, thermal, and electrical simulations before post-processing the data in MATLAB.

Laser Resources on the Application Gallery

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