A beam propagation method (BPM) based on the finite element method (FEM) is described for the analysis of both transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) waves propagating in nonlinear optical waveguides. A perfectly matched layer is introduced to avoid spurious reflections from computational window edges. For the wide-angle beam propagation analysis, the Pade approximation is introduced to the differential operator along the propagation direction. In order to improve numerical accuracy and efficiency, a finite element mesh and a reference refractive index are adaptively renewed at each propagation step, and to reduce computational effort for the nonlinear optical waveguide analysis, an iterative algorithm is also introduced. Waveguides with nonlinear self-focusing claddings are analyzed to investigate spatial soliton emission phenomena, and it is confirmed that soliton couplers can be easily constructed.
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