RP Photonics

Encyclopedia … combined with a great Buyer's Guide!


All Banners

Here you can see all banners which are displayed on our website. This may be useful if you have seen a banner and want to find it again in order to look up some details.

Note that it is also possible to have your banner(s) displayed on our website. See our page on advertising opportunities.

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RPMC Lasers

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Fiber Optics Software

RP Fiber Calculator software

RP Fiber Calculator – a convenient tool for calculations on optical fibers:

mode profiles

screen shot

The basic version of this software is offered for free!

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RP Fiber Power – the versatile Fiber Optics Software

An Amazing Tool

RP Fiber Power software

This amazing tool is extremely helpful for the development of passive and active fiber devices.


Watch our quick video tour!

Single-mode and Multi­mode Fibers


Calculate mode properties such as

  • amplitude distributions (near field and far field)
  • effective mode area
  • effective index
  • group delay and chromatic dispersion

Also calculate fiber coupling efficiencies; simulate effects of bending, nonlinear self-focusing or gain guiding on beam propagation, higher-order soliton propagation, etc.

Arbitrary Index Profiles

A fiber's index profile may be more complicated than just a circle:

special fibers

Here, we "printed" some letters, translated this into an index profile and initial optical field, propagated the light over some distance and plotted the output field – all automated with a little script code.

Fiber Couplers, Double-clad Fibers, Multicore Fibers, …

fiber devices

Simulate pump absorption in double-clad fibers, study beam propagation in fiber couplers, light propagation in tapered fibers, analyze the impact of bending, cross-saturation effects in amplifiers, leaky modes, etc.

Fiber Amplifiers

fiber amplifier

For example, calculate

  • gain and saturation characteristics (for continuous or pulsed operation)
  • energy transfers in erbium-ytterbium-doped amplifier fibers
  • influence of quenching effects, amplified spontaneous emission etc.

in single amplifier stages or in multi-stage amplifier systems, with double-clad fibers, etc.

Fiber-optic Telecom Systems

eye diagram

For example,

  • analyze dispersive and nonlinear signal distortions
  • investigate the impact of amplifier noise
  • optimize nonlinear management and the placement of amplifiers

Find out in detail what is going on in such a system!

Fiber Lasers

fiber laser

For example, analyze and optimize the

  • power conversion efficiency
  • wavelength tuning range
  • Q switching dynamics
  • femtosecond pulse generation with mode locking

for lasers based on double-clad fiber, with linear or ring resonator, etc.

Ultrafast Fiber Lasers and Amplifiers

fiber laser

For example, study

  • pulse formation mechanisms
  • impact of nonlinearities and chromatic dispersion
  • parabolic pulse amplification
  • feedback sensitivity
  • supercontinuum generation

Apply any sequence of elements to your pulses!

… and even Bulk Devices

regenerative amplifier

For example, study

  • Q switching dynamics
  • mode-locking behavior
  • impact of nonlinearities and chromatic dispersion
  • influence of a saturable absorber
  • chirped-pulse amplification
  • regenerative amplification

RP Fiber Power is an extremely versatile tool!

Mode Solver

fiber modes

For example, calculate

  • amplitude and intensity profiles
  • effective mode areas
  • cut-off wavelengths
  • propagation constants
  • group velocities
  • chromatic dispersion

All this is calculated with high efficiency!

Beam Propagation

beam propagation

Propagate optical field with arbitrary wavefronts through fibers. These may be asymmetric, bent, tapered, exhibit random disturbances, etc.

See our demo video for numerical beam propagation.

Laser-active Ions

level scheme

Work with the standard gain model, or define your own level scheme!

Can include different ions, energy transfers, upconversion and quenching effects, complicated pumping schemes, etc.

Multiple Pump and Signal Waves, ASE

optical channels

Define multiple pump and signal waves and many ASE channels – each one with its own transverse intensity profile, loss coefficient etc.

The power calculations are highly efficient and reliable.

Simple Use and High Flexibility Combined

For simpler tasks, use convenient forms:

signal parameters

Script code is automatically generated and can then be modified by the user. A powerful script language gives you an unparalleled flexibility!

High-quality Documentation and Competent Support

The carefully prepared comprehensive documentation includes a PDF manual and an interactive online help system.

Competent technical support is provided: the developer himself will help you and make sure that any problem is solved!

Our support is like included technical consulting.

Boost your competence, efficiency and creativity!

  • Stop fishing in the dark! Develop a clear quantitative understanding of your devices.
  • Explore the effects of possible design changes on your desk.
  • That way, get most efficient in the lab.
  • Find optimized solutions efficiently, minimizing time to market.
  • Get new ideas by playing with your models.

Efficiency and success of
R & D are not a matter of chance.

See our detailed description with many case studies!

Contact us to get a quotation!

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supercontinuum generation

Evolution of the spectrum of an ultrashort pulse in a fiber. The spectrum becomes very wide at the right end; this is called supercontinuum generation.

This diagram has been made with the RP Fiber Power software.

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regenerative amplifier

Pulse energy from a regenerative amplifier, when the number of resonator round-trips per amplification cycle is varied. Such instabilities (involving several bifurcations) can be well studied with a numerical model.

This diagram has been made with the RP Fiber Power software.

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self-focusing in a fiber

Intensity distribution in a fiber at megawatt power levels. The Kerr nonlinearity destabilizes the initially launched LP11 mode.

This diagram has been made with the RP Fiber Power software.

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light in a tapered fiber

Intensity evolution of the LP11 mode in a tapered fiber. In the tapered region, most of the light is lost into the fiber cladding

This diagram has been made with the RP Fiber Power software.

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relaxation oscillations

Evolution of output power and gain when an Yb-doped fiber laser is switched on. One can see the relaxation oscillations, with convergence towards the steady state. Each red or gray segment corresponds to 0.2 μs.

This diagram has been made with the RP Fiber Power software.

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double-clad fiber

Evolution of the intensity pattern of pump light in a double-clad fiber. After some distance, the pump absorption in the fiber core leads to a "hole" in the pump light pattern.

This diagram has been made with the RP Fiber Power software.

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Resonator Design Software

RP Resonator – an extremely flexible resonator design software:

laser resonator design

Further features:

RP Resonator plot

Use RP Resonator to drive your resonator design capabilities to perfection!

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Thin-film Optics Software

RP Coating is a most versatile software for thin-film design. Analyze and optimize a wide range of devices:

coating design

Further features:

Use RP Coating to quickly become a thin-film expert!

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Bragg mirror

Color-coded reflectivity of a Bragg mirror as a function of wavelength and angle of the incident beam.

This diagram has been made with the RP Coating software.

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Bragg mirror

Color-coded field penetration in a Bragg mirror as a function of wavelength.

This diagram has been made with the RP Coating software.

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Color-coded field penetration in an etalon structure as a function of wavelength.

This diagram has been made with the RP Coating software.

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Bragg mirror

Evolution of the reflectivity spectrum of a Bragg mirror during fabrication.

This diagram has been made with the RP Coating software.

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Bragg mirror

A femtosecond pulse hits a Gires--Tournois interferometer (GTI).

This diagram has been made with the RP Coating software.

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Bragg mirror

Field penetration into a rugate filter.

This diagram has been made with the RP Coating software.

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Numerical Pulse Propagation

RP ProPulse can simulate pulse propagation in many devices:

RP ProPulse

Further features:

pulse display window

Use RP ProPulse to acquire a full understanding of your devices!

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higher-order solitons

Evolution of the spectrum of a third-order soliton pulse.

This diagram has been made with the RP ProPulse software.

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Numerical Modeling

Developing devices or systems in photonics requires a comprehensive quantitative understanding – otherwise, it becomes inefficient, waisting time and money.

Numerical modeling is often the most efficient way towards results:

laser modeling

How to Get Your Modeling Done?

You can either do it yourself, using our powerful simulation software, or use competent technical consultancy.

Note: software from RP Photonics comes with competent technical support – consultancy is included!

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Laser Design Services

The quality of a laser product is largely determined by its design and not just by the used parts.

Developing a good design requires a high technical competence and experience. Dr. Paschotta from RP Photonics offers can greatly help by

Note: with a trial-and-error approach you may waste a lot of time and resources. (Also consider time to market!) Therefore, competent help is the key for cost-efficient and lower-risk developments.

You may also involve us only if you got into trouble, but coming earlier is usually better.

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Technical Writing

In the laser and photonics industry, there is a lot to write:

Get competent help!

You may try to write yourself, but keep in mind that involving a top expert such as Dr. Paschotta from RP Photonics can have many advantages:

Just contact RP Photonics to find out what we can do for you!

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Evaluation of Technologies

In the laser and photonics industry, it is often essential to obtain competent evaluations of certain technologies:

Get help!

Involving a top expert such as Dr. Paschotta into technology evaluations can have many advantages:

Just contact RP Photonics to find out what we can do for you!

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Independent Advice on Products

If you buy things like laser crystals, optical fibers or whole laser systems, many questions can arise:

Get help!

You need an expert

This is one of the offers of RP Photonics. Such work costs something, but far less than what you can waste by buying the wrong things. Just contact us before making critical purchase decisions!

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Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

You know this famous encyclopedia from our website. This is a free service of RP Photonics to the worldwide photonics community.

The encyclopedia is also available as a two-volume print version. Don't you think that it would deserve a place in your institute or group library?

Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology

Click on the image to get to Wiley-VCH, were you can order the book.

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RP Photonics Buyer's Guide

On our website, you find not only the famous encyclopedia, but also the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide:

RP Photonics Buyer's Guide

Is it actually surprising that you find the best buyer's guide at the same place as the best photonics information source?

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Photonics Newsletters --
get high quality information,
not the usual advertisements!

You have too little time for reading all kinds of newsletters? You are tired of the common ad distribution? Sure – but what we offer is different:


We won't flood you with e-mails!

Our newsletters appear only about once per month, and they carry valuable information. You will not regret to register!

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Interesting Articles

We offer a huge selection of interesting articles on laser technology and photonics. Some examples:

Most of these articles belong to our newsletters, which appear about once per month. You will not regret to register!

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Shortages of rare earth materials – a problem for photonics?

Photonics heavily depends on the supply of rare earth materials in various areas – think of laser crystals, active fibers and LEDs, for example. It is hard to see how such things could be done without rare earth materials. And those have recently been subject to enormous price increases and were even involved in a trade war.

Is that now a reason for serious concerns in the area of photonics? Do we need to undertake serious recycling efforts? Our Photonics Spotlight article analyzes the situation.

Receiving the Photonics Spotlight via our newsletter might be a good idea …

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How to Fight Fraud in Science?

We occasionally read about scientific fraud – things like fabricated or manipulated measurement results – which is utterly unfair and also undermines the trust of the public in science and its results.

How to fight that problem?

Unfortunately, the discussion of fraud often misses essential aspects. Our Photonics Spotlight article on science fraud digs deeper. It suggests that the risk of fraud is close to zero where supervisors do a responsible job. Relations to a more widespread problem – corrupt authorship practices – are also identified.

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Trouble with Specifications

Specifications for lasers and other photonics products are essential for the process of buying such things. Nevertheless, many do not properly deal with them:

Various problems can arise:

Our Photonics Spotlight article and our encyclopedia article on laser specifications give you important hints. In case of doubt, contact RP Photonics to get competent and impartial advice.

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Tutorials on Fiber Optics

See our comprehensive fiber optics tutorials:

Passive Fiber Optics:


Fiber Amplifiers:


Two very comprehensive and useful resources!

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Business Disputes

Occasionally, serious disputes arise, e.g. when a company purchases a laser from some supplier. Conflicting views may occur concerning questions as:


Going to court is usually the last thing you want to do – but how else to resolve a conflict?

Mediation is a much more attractive approach. Only, you need to find a mediator

Dr. Paschotta from RP Photonics offers such services. Your chance is to reach a fair resolution with far less time and money than at court.

See also our Spotlight article on this matter.

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Staff Training

Up-to-date technical know-how is the key to success in modern photonics. RP Photonics offers high quality training courses at your location:

Your Course Instructor

Dr. Paschotta from RP Photonics

Could there be a better investment for a high-tech company?

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Advertising Your Products

Why register your company and products in the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide?

So your products must be visible here!

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You have found the Best Place for Your Banner – Here!

Make your

well known with an extra-wide
skyscraper banner
which will be displayed here (with a given probability per page view).

Aspect 1: Huge Traffic

This website is immensely popular – see the detailed statistical data.

For example, your banner gets ≈13,000 views per month if you choose 10% probability per page view.

Aspect 2: Audience

The users of this resource are mostly

  • industry people
  • researchers

working on laser technology and related areas of photonics – exactly those you want to reach.

Aspect 3: Precise Targeting

You can even make the display probability dependent on certain topics – e.g., increase it for pages on lasers!

With our convenient selection tool, this is easy to do.

Which other photonics website can offer that?

Aspect 4: High-quality Environment

Get your banner placed on pages with high-quality content, rather than on pages which are crowed with ads! Our pages give visibility just for you!

Aspect 5: Transparency

On this website, you know exactly on what kind of pages your banner is placed: mostly encyclopedia articles and buyer's guide pages – not some undefined bunch of materials.

We also publish clear statistical data.

Aspect 6: Convenience

Our convenient tool makes it easy for you to define the placement of your banner and to find out the cost.

Also, we deliver a diligent and flexible service, helping you to save time. We even offer to assemble your animated banner!

Aspect 7: Competitive Pricing

Compare our prices with those at other places: we deliver better value for money!

Visit our page on advertising banners to get more details!

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A Quiz Question

taken from the Photonics Quiz:

(one of the questions …)

After selecting your answer(s) and pressing this button, find the explanations on the left side.

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Send us nice photographs!

If you have nice photographs of laser devices, measurement equipment, optical components, etc., which are suitable for illustrating aspects in our encyclopedia articles, you are welcome to send them to us!

Researchers may also have photographs or drawings of experimental setups, microscope images and the like.

Such materials should of course help to illustrate aspects of general interest, rather than only very specialized matters. We also do not accept pictures which are primarily advertising.

Of course, we always acknowledge the source of an image in the figure caption, so that you get your proper credit.

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Field Guide on Lasers

Enjoy a compact introduction to laser technology:

FG Lasers

This book soon became a bestseller among the SPIE Field Guides.

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Field Guide on Laser Pulse Generation

Learn a lot on pulse generation with lasers:

FG Laser Pulse Generation

Enjoy a compact booklet, authored by a top expert on laser pulses.

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Field Guide on Fiber Optics

A quick introduction to fiber optics:

FG Fiber Optics

Note that we have also published a free tutorial on fiber optics!

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How PhD Students Should Get Supported by Supervisors

A recent article in the Photonics Spotlight discusses the responsibilities of supervisors (professors and senior research assistance).

Some key statements:

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Free Tutorial: Modeling of Fiber Amplifiers and Lasers

We have published a new tutorial which discusses the modeling of fiber amplifiers and lasers. It addresses many questions:

Read the tutorial!

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Short-term Software Licenses Available

Do you need simulation software (such as our RP Fiber Power) only during a short-term project?

Or do you want to test such software very thoroughly before fully committing to it?

RP Photonics is now offering a solution: software licenses which are valid for a limited time.

Our conditions are very fair:

We are confident that you will like our software and finally decide for permanent licenses.

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Fiber Optics Software
with Further Improved
User Interface

Since RP Fiber Power V6, one can work with nice custom forms, which can be tailored to specific applications.

custom form in RP Fiber Power

Users can make such forms themselves, or get them from RP Photonics within the technical support. The latter is like buying a custom software for every purpose – but without spending a lot of money every time!

Beginners can now get started very easily, even if they need quite special calculations!

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The Transparent Laser

The dream of each laser developer, and not only of each laser scientist: have a transparent laser, where you can look into any components and see e.g.

… and this at any location and time, with arbitrary resolution!

If you had this, finally you could

Absolutely marvelous, but only a dream?!?

Good news: such transparent lasers can be made! See our presentation:


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Traffic on this Website

This website is enormously popular. The page views of the encyclopedia and the buyer's guide in the last 12 months:

MonthPage views

Total: 2,078,589 page views within 12 months.

See also our detailed published data. They are no surprise in the light of the extraordinary Google ranking.

Obviously, it would be a good idea to advertise your photonics products on this site – with enhanced entries in the buyer's guide and with banners at this place here.

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Promote Your White Papers and Videos

White papers and videos are great instruments for creating an interest in your technology and demonstrating the capabilities of a company. But how to publicize them, reaching the right audience?

example for white paper

Our suggestion: place a preview in a suitable encyclopedia article! For example, the paper preview shown above would well fit into our articles on laser diodes and diode bars.

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Courses at Photonics West – Efficient Learning is Fun!

Dr. Paschotta will perform the following courses at
SPIE Photonics West 2019
in San Francisco

SC 1181 SC 1207

Register for these courses in order to learn a lot on those interesting topics in an easy way!

By the way, how about a tailored training course done in your company?! Two or three enjoyable days, after which your team will be more competent and efficient!

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Meet Dr. Paschotta at Photonics West

Dr. Paschotta will attend SPIE Photonics West 2019 in San Francisco. If you like to meet him there, it may still be possible to find some time.

An excellent opportunity e.g. to discuss a new consulting project or an advertising campaign in the RP Photonics Buyer's Guide, or to get software demonstrated!

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Stand up for Science!

It is acceptable that some don't know much about photons, biological evolution or global warming.

But we don't want bigot ignorants to make political decisions and educate our children!

For example, global warming is not a matter of political opinion, but a fact. Ruthless profiteers are leading astray uneducated people, seducing them to take utterly irresponsible positions. But we cannot risk catastrophic climate changes! Science tells us it is high time to act. Read, for example, the IPCC Synthesis Report 2014.

Stand up for science (perhaps by joining a March for Science) – it's our future!

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Debugging Is Now Fun!

The software products which are supporting our script language (e.g. RP Fiber Power and RP Coating) have now got a powerful debugger!


It works even within expressions, not only after each command!

The RP Photonics Software News keep you informed.

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Buyer's Guide

Some of our advertising customers:

RPMC Lasers