Application of the Finite-Difference Time-Domain method with local grid refinement to nanostructure design

A. R. Zakharian, J. V. Moloney, C. Dineen, M. Brio

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) method is often a viable alternative to other computational methods used for the design of sub-wavelength components of photonic devices. We describe an FDTD based grid refinement method, which reduces the computational cell size locally, using a collection of nested rectangular grid patches. On each patch, a standard FDTD update of the electromagnetic fields is applied. At the coarse/fine grid interfaces the solution is interpolated, and consistent circulation of the fields is enforced on shared cell edges. Stability and accuracy of the scheme depend critically on the update scheme, space and time interpolation, and a proper implementation of flux conditions at mesh boundaries. Compared to the conformal grid refinement, the method enables better efficiency by using non-conformal grids around the region of interest and by refining both space and time dimensions, which leads to considerable savings in computation time. We discuss the advantages and shortcomings of the method and present its application to the problem of computation of a quality factor of a 3-D photonic crystal microcavity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number23
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2005
EventIntegrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies IX - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2005Jan 26 2005


  • FDTD
  • Grid refinement
  • Microcavity
  • Nanoaperture
  • Photonic crystal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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