Theory and Simulation

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Reentry Pic

SNF Project: photonic-RE
Design and Manufacturing of Heterogeneous Photonic Composites for Aerospace Applications

Photonic crystal structures (PCS) allow control of the material response to electromagnetic irradiation by its structural design. High-temperature stable PCS have a high potential for thermal protection systems (TPS) of space vehicles during atmospheric reentry. High-temperature stable PCS offer also other useful applications, for example, for high-temperature protection of gas turbine blades or as selective emitters for thermophotovoltaic. The aim of photonic-RE project is computational design, fabrication and testing of new photonic TPS for atmospheric reentry. See also the project website.

Coordinator:  Prof. Juerg Leuthold

Project Manager:  Dr. Valery Shklover, ETH Zürich

Timeframe: 1/09/2015 - 31/08/2018   


ETH CHIRP Project: Computational nano-optics
Shape calculus and inverse problems

This project aims to devise and extend numerical methods for important applications in nano-optics, namely plasmonic structures such as nano antennas, scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM), etc. It employs the most advanced techniques of computational mathematics namely hp-FEM computations, shape gradients, Dirichlet to Neuman maps, matrix compression, etc.

Principle Investigator: Prof. Ralph Hiptmair, SAM, ETH Zürich

Timeframe: 2012 - 2015


SNF project:
Light-trapping enhanced solar cells for outer planets missions

In this project, we design and study solar cells that might be useful for missions to outer planets, where the light intensity is small and temperature is low. We expect that also terrestrial photovoltaics will benefit from these findings. Especially different spectrum-splitting schemes seem to be promising and are optimized by extensive simulations combined with numerical optimizers.

Principle Investigator: Prof. Christian Hafner, ETH Zürich

Timeframe: 2012 - 2015


EWZ project:
Metamaterials and coupled resonator systems

Systems of coupled electromagnetic resonators lead to various interesting effects. When arranging the resonators on some lattice, photonic crystals and more general artificial materials or metamaterials are obtained. We study the electromagnetic properties of these systems and optimize them for applications such as shielding of electrosmog, absorption, filtering for spectrum splitting, etc. We also study the forces between coupled resonators and have employed them for creating wireless motors.

Principle Investigators: Profs. Juerg Leuthold and Christian Hafner, ETH Zürich

Timeframe: 2006 - 2015


Various foundings
Open source software for computational electromagnetics

The Open Source package OpenMaXwell is a graphic platform for computational electromagnetics including 2D and 3D FDTD solvers, static FD solvers, and the most advanced 2D and 3D MMP solvers. It can handle various applications, including eigenvalue problems (resonators, cylindrical and periodic waveguide structures, photonic crystals), scattering, plasmonics, antennas, etc. OpenMax Website

Principle Investigator: Prof. Christian Hafner, ETH Zürich

Timeframe: since 2009

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