ONELAB Photonics

Open Source Finite Element Software for Photonics Applications

ONELAB Photonics is a set of models combining the open source finite element solver GetDP with the open source pre- and post-processor Gmsh to solve photonics applications1.

These models can be used as-is for parametric studies or as template models since implementing new opto-geometric parameters using Gmsh and GetDP is rather simple.

For instance, it is possible to compute direct problems such as the diffraction of a plane wave by a grating2-4 (in 2D and 3D) or the scattering of an arbitrary wave by a scatterer (T-matrix5, near and far field data...)

A collection of eigenvalue problems is also available, such as the Quasi-Normal Modes of open structures6, the the Bloch band diagram of photonics crystals, the leaky modes of a microstructured fiber7, or the modes resulting from non-linear eigenvalue problems arising when considering frequency-dispersive permittivities8-9.

Quick start

  1. Download the precompiled ONELAB software bundle for Windows, Linux or MacOS.
  2. Launch the app
  3. Open e.g. models/BlochPeriodicWaveguides/
  4. Press Run

Template models


  1. G. Demésy, A. Nicolet, F. Zolla, C. Geuzaine. Modélisation par la méthode de éléments finis avec ONELAB. Photoniques 100, 40-45, 2020.
  2. G. Demésy, F. Zolla, A. Nicolet, M. Commandré. All-purpose finite element formulation for arbitrarily shaped crossed-gratings embedded in a multilayered stack. JOSA A 27.4, 878-889, 2010.
  3. G. Demésy, F. Zolla, A. Nicolet. A ONELAB model for the parametric study of mono-dimensional diffraction gratings. arXiv:1710.11451.
  4. G. Demésy, S. John. Solar energy trapping with modulated silicon nanowire photonic crystals. Journal of Applied Physics 112.7, 074326, 2012.
  5. G. Demésy, J.-C. Auger, B. Stout. Scattering matrix of arbitrarily shaped objects: combining finite elements and vector partial waves. JOSA A 35.8 1401-1409, 2018.
  6. N. Marsic, H. De Gersem, G. Demésy, A. Nicolet, C. Geuzaine. Modal analysis of the ultrahigh finesse Haroche QED cavity. New Journal of Physics 20.4, 043058, 2018.
  7. F. Zolla, G. Renversez, A. Nicolet. Foundations of photonic crystal fibres. World Scientific, 2005.
  8. G. Demésy, A. Nicolet, B. Gralak, C. Geuzaine, C. Campos, J. E. Roman. Non-linear eigenvalue problems with GetDP and SLEPc: Eigenmode computations of frequency-dispersive photonic open structures. arXiv:1802.02363.
  9. F. Zolla, A. Nicolet, G. Demésy, Photonics in highly dispersive media: the exact modal expansion. Opt. Lett. 43, 5813, 2018.
  10. A. Nicolet, G. Demésy, F. Zolla, C. Campos, J. E. Roman, C. Geuzaine, Physically agnostic quasi normal mode expansion in time dispersive structures: From mechanical vibrations to nanophotonic resonances. European J. of Mechanics - A/Solids, 104809, 2022.


ONELAB Photonics was funded in part by the French Agence Nationale pour la recherche (ANR-16-CE24-0013), the Walloon Region (WIST3 No 1017086 ONELAB) and the Belgian French Community (ARC WAVES 15/19-03).