For many optical applications, materials are needed with anisotropic or nonlinear properties, for example birefringence and dichroism. Three examples are presented of the application of special optical materials in integrated components. The direct numerical simulations with CST Studio Suite® help to understand the underlying mechanisms and demonstrate side effects not predicted by simplified theories. Firstly, birefringent and dichroic materials are discussed and it is shown how strong anisotropy can suppress substrate leakage of ring resonators and waveguides. The second example shows that magneto-optically active materials can rotate the polarization of an optical wave. In the third example it is demonstrated that, for Kerr media, the refractive index becomes dependent on the optical intensity.
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