Optical Waveguides: Numerical Modeling
 

Finite-Difference Time Domain Method (FDTDM): Software

  • CrystalWave FDTD
  • EM Explorer
  • F2P
  • FDTD Solutions
  • FullWAVE
  • MEEP
  • OmniSim
  • OptiFDTD
  • Sim3D_Max
  • XFdtd
  • EMPLab2D/EMPLab3D
  • GMES
  • Gfdtd
  • QUICKWAVE
  • CrystalWave FDTD

    Commercial software sold by Photon Design.

    CrystalWave includes a powerful simulation engine based on a modified finite difference time domain method that has been specially written for photonic crystal simulations.

    Capabilities:

    • The CrystalWave framework includes an advanced highly efficient finite difference time domain engine that has been written specifically for photonic crystal simulations, taking best advantage of the lattice structure
    • Very fast, speed optimised engine
    • Special techniques substantially reduce memory usage allowing large structure simulations
    • Dispersive materials, including metals, with Drude, Debye and Lorentz models.
    • Anisotropic materials
    • Magnetic permeability
    • Non-linearity
    • 2D and 3D simulations supported - either can be done on the same design.
    • Sub-gridding to add resolution only where it is needed.
    • Wide range of optical sources - plane wave, Gaussian beam, dipole, waveguide mode; all available as CW or pulse temporal envelope
    • Simulation of incoherent broadband spontaneous emis¬sion
    • Connection to FIMMWAVE
    • PML, metal, magnetic or periodic boundaries
    • Run-time monitoring of evolving fields as they propagate
    • Click-and-drop sensors to measure power fluxes and field profiles
    • FFT calculations to for spectral analysis
    • Overlap integrals to waveguide modes
    • Very large variety of plottable measurements - net flux versus wavelength, field versus time, field versus position at given wavelength etc.
    • A clustered version of the FDTD engine is available for both Windows and Linux clusters

    Applications:

    • Photonic crystal waveguides
    • Y-juntions and bends
    • Photonic crystal sensors

    Related publications:

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    EM Explorer

    Software is free and available for licensing.

    EM Explorer (EMXP) is a 3D electromagnetic (EM) solver for scattering problems of periodic structures illuminated by arbitrary incident fields including plane waves. It can simulate both dielectric and magnetic materials including negative index materials.

    Capabilities:

    • EM Explorer is largely based on the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD).

    Unique features that distinguish EM Explorer from the standard FDTD method:

    • Instead of using discrete Fourier transform (DFT) as in the standard FDTD software, EM Explorer directly computes and outputs the amplitude and phase of EM fields.
    • It not only saves the computing resources including memory/disk spaces required by the DFT but also provides direct, real-time visualization and monitoring of simulation convergence and stability.
    • A unique analytical absorbing boundary condition (ABC) algorithm has been developed and implemented. Numerical experiments show that its reflection error is comparable and better than Perfectly Matched Layer (PML) in many cases. It uses less memory and runs faster than PML.
    • A few techniques have also been implemented to compensate the numerical dispersion and to enable sub-grid resolution. These techniques provide improved accuracy at no additional cost in computing resources compared to the standard FDTD method.
    • In addition to planewave illumination, EM Explorer is capable of simulating scattering problems of arbitrary incident fields. A flexible function is provided to allow the user to construct a customized incident field and feed it to the FDTD solver for simulations.
    • A Windows GUI version of EMXP can be downloaded free for non-commercial and educational use. More advanced features and capabilities can be found in the console version which uses TCL (Tool Command Language) as user interface.
    • In addition to the FDTD simulation engine EM Explorer Pro console version also implemented a few extra simulation engines that are generally not found in other EM solvers.
    • It includes a rigorous, full-vector near-field-to-far-field transformation engine. Its underlying algorithm is valid in all field zones including near, intermediate, and far fields.
    • In addition to free-space propagation, EM Explorer Pro can also rigorously simulate EM wave propagations through other optical elements such as lenses and film stacks via its optical lens simulation engine and film stack simulation engine.
    • Propagation through a generic linear optical element in which the optical transmission or reflection properties are represented by a scattering matrix is also supported in EM Explorer Pro.
    • It also includes a fast simulation engine for a special class of diffractive optical elements (DOE) where the wavelength is larger than the embedded diffractive structures.
    • By simply cascading these simulation engines together, the EM Explorer Pro user can easily simulate an entire optical system such as those found in DOE applications and photolithography applications.
    • Support for negative refractive index is available in EM Explorer 4.0 and later versions.

    Waveguide-Related Applications:

    • Photonic crystal waveguide, splitter
    • Surface plasmon waveguides
    • Negative index material structures

    Related publications:

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    F2P (Finite-difference time-domain 2D simulator for Photonic devices)

    Free software developed by Dr. Min Qiu in Digital Visual Fortran, at the Laboratory of Optics, Photonics and Quantum Electronics (OPQ), Department of Microelectronics and Information Technology (IMIT), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Electrum 229, 164 40 Kista, Sweden. (Tel. +46 8 7521197; Fax: +46 8 7521240). His email address is min@imit.kth.se.

    Waveguides-Related Applications:

    • Conventional waveguides
    • Waveguide tapers and bends
    • Negative refraction
    • Ring resonator filters
    • Disk resonator filters
    • Wave splitters

    Related publications:

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    FDTD Solutions

    Commercial software sold by by Lumerical.

    FDTD Solutions is a high-performance single and multi-processor FDTD design software for analyzing microscale optical devices.2D and 3D simulation capabilities.

    Capabilities:

    • Nonuniform mesh and automesh algorithms
    • Simulation convergence autoshutoff
    • Parallel / cluster computation
    • Movie (.mpg) generation of simulation dynamics
    • Scripting language to customize simulation and analysis
    • Lorentz, Drude, Debye and anisotropic materials
    • Data import/export with BRO's ASAP ray-tracing package
    • Data export to Matlab or ASCII file formats
    • Structure import from GDSII files
    • Boundary conditions: absorbing (PML), periodic, Bloch, symmetric, asymmetric, and metal boundaries
    • Simulation objects: primitives that can be rotated and placed in three dimensions, and structure definition from imported SEM/image files; primitives include triangles, rectangular blocks, cylinders, conic surfaces, polyons, rings, user-defined (parametric) surfaces, spheres and pyramids
    • Radiation sources: waveguide sources, dipoles, plane waves, focused beams and diffraction-limited spots, total-field scattered-field (TFSF) sources, and source import/export from/to BRO's ASAP ray-tracing program
    • Measurement monitors: refractive index monitors, time- and frequency-domain monitors to measure pulsed or continuous-wave (CW) field profiles and power flow, and movie monitors to generate .mpg movies of field dynamics

    Waveguides-Related Applications:

    • Ring resonators
    • Optical waveguides
    • Optical filters
    • Photonic crystal microcavities
    • Photonic crystal vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL)
    • Surface plasmon devices
    • Intergrated optical biophotonic sensors

    Related publications:

    • M. G. Banaee et al., "Efficient coupling of photonic crystal microcavity modes to a ridge waveguide," Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 193106 (2007).
    • F. Yang et al., "Voltage-tuned resonant reflectance optical filter for visible wavelengths fabricated by nanoreplica molding," Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 261109 (2007).
    • V. S. C. Manga Rao and S. Hughes, "Single quantum-dot Purcell factor and β factor in a photonic crystal waveguide," Phys. Rev. B 75, 205437 (2007).
    • E. Bisaillon et al., High reflectivity air-bridge subwavelength grating reflector and Fabry-Perot cavity in AlGaAs/GaAs, Opt. Express 14, 2573-2582 (2006).
    • R. Gordon et al., "Resonant Light Transmission Through a Nanohole in a Metal Film," IEEE Trans. Nanotechnol. 3, 291 (2006).

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    FullWAVE

    Commercial software sold by by RSoft.

    FullWAVE is a general design tool for studying the propagation of light in a wide variety of photonic structures. The software employs the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method for the fully-vectorial simulation of photonic structures.

    Capabilities:

    • Both two- and three-dimensional simulation algorithms are available, and have been enhanced for speed, accuracy, memory usage, and usability.
    • Clustered computations allow a single simulation to be distributed across a network of computers, therefore increasing simulation speed and facilitating larger simulations. Without this option, large two-dimensional simulations would be prohibitively time consuming and large three-dimensional simulations near impossible due to computational expense. The speed benefit gained through the use of a cluster scales virtually linearly with cluster size. (This feature is licensed separately.)
    • Advanced material systems that have anisotropic, dispersive, and non-linear effects can be incorporated into a simulation. Full control of dispersion for both linear and non-linear effects over both the permittivity and permeability are possible via a multiple Lorentzian model. These advanced controls allow for the accurate simulation of standard dispersive systems and novel applications such as metallic systems, negative refractive index materials, and surface plasmons. An arbitrarily-oriented anisotropy is also supported.
    • FullWAVE also includes several boundary condition types. The perfectly-matched-layer (PML) boundary condition allows radiation to freely escape the computational domain. For periodic structures, periodic boundary conditions can be implemented to simplify and speed up calculations. Symmetric and anti-symmetric boundary conditions are also available.
    • Advanced arbitrary excitation features are included as well. Multiple launch fields can be defined with different spatial and temporal characteristics such as position, wavelength, direction, polarization, and temporal excitation. The polarization options include linear, both left and right circular, as well as custom polarizations. Point sources are also available.

    Applications:

    • Photonic bandgap applications
    • Ring resonators
    • Grating structures, surface normal gratings and other diffractive structures
    • Sensor devices
    • Nano- and micro-lithography
    • Metrology
    • High-index contrast waveguide devices

    Related publications:

    • M. Haurylau et al., "On-chip optical interconnect roadmap: Challenges and critical directions," IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 12, 1699 (2006).
    • Martinez and J. Marti, "Positive phase evolution of waves propagating along a photonic crystal with negative index of refraction," Optics Express 14, 9805 (2006).
    • R. Gajic et al., "All-angle left-handed negative refraction in Kagome and Honeycomb lattice photonic crystals," Physical Review B 73, 1 (2006).
    • V. Kanaev et al., "Optical coupling at a distance between detuned spherical cavities", Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 111111 (2006).
    • A. Barrios and M. Lipson, Electrically driven silicon resonant light emitting device based on slot-waveguide, Opt. Express 13, 10092 (2005).
    • V. Mocella et al., A polarizing beam splitter using negative refraction of photonic crystals, Opt. Express 13, 7699 (2005).
    • Y. Tanaka et al., "Coupling properties in a 2-D photonic crystal slab directional coupler with a triangular lattice of air holes," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 41, 76 (2005).
    • V. Schmidt et al., "Nanocavity in a silicon waveguide for ultrasensitive nanoparticle detection," Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, no. 21, pp. 4854-4856, November 22, 2004.
    • J. Zarbakhsh et al., "Arbitrary angle waveguiding applications of 2D curvilinear-lattice photonic crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 4687 (2004).
    • N. Watari et al., "Optical design that increases light-extraction efficiencies of organic light-emitting devices through finite-difference time-domain method," Japanese J. Appl. Phys. 43, 7010 (2004).
    • Y. Fong and A. W. Poon, Mode field patterns and preferential mode coupling in planar waveguide-coupled square microcavities, Opt. Express 11, 2897 (2003).
    • P. Sanchis et al., "Analysis of adiabatic coupling between photonic crystal single-line-defect and coupled-resonator optical waveguides," Opt. Lett. 28, 1903 (2003).
    • N. C. Panoiu and R. M. Osgood, "Influence of the dispersive properties of metals on the transmission characteristics of left-handed materials," Phys. Rev. E 68, 016611 (2003).
    • P. Sanchis et al., Mode matching technique for highly efficient coupling between dielectric waveguides and planar photonic circuits, Opt. Express 10, 1391 (2002).
    • M. Zelsmann et al., "Transmission spectroscopy of photonic crystals in a silicon-on-insulator waveguide structure," Appl. Phys. Lett. 81, 2340 (2002).

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    MEEP

    Free software developed by MIT group.

    Meep (or MEEP) is a free finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulation software package developed at MIT to model electromagnetic systems, along with MIT MPB eigenmode package.

    Capabilities:

    • Simulation in one-, two, three-, and cylindrical coordinates
    • Distributed memory parallelism on any system supporting the MPI standard
    • Portable to any Unix-like system
    • Dispersive ε(ω) (including loss/gain) and nonlinear (Kerr & Pockels) materials
    • PML absorbing boundaries and/or perfect conductor and/or Bloch-periodic boundary conditions
    • Exploitation of symmetries to reduce the computation size - even/odd mirror symmetries and 90°/180° rotations
    • Complete scriptability - either via a Scheme scripting front-end (as in libctl and MPB), or callable as a C++ library
    • Field output in the HDF5 standard scientific data format, supported by many visualization tools
    • Arbitrary material and source distributions
    • Field analyses including flux spectra, frequency extraction, and energy integrals; completely programmable
    • Multi-parameter optimization, root-finding, integration, etcetera (via libctl)
    • Time-domain simulation

    Applications:

    • Transmission and reflection spectra - by Fourier-transforming the response to a short pulse, a single simulation can yield the scattering amplitudes over a wide spectrum of frequencies
    • Resonant modes and frequencies - by analyzing the response of the system to a short pulse, one can extract the frequencies, decay rates, and field patterns of the harmonic modes of a system (including waveguide and cavity modes, and including losses)
    • Field patterns (e.g. Green's functions) in response to an arbitrary source, archetypically a CW (fixed-ω) input
    • Using these results, one can then compute the local density of states (from the trace of the Green's function)
    • Meep's scriptable interface makes it possible to combine many sorts of computations (along with multi-parameter optimization) in sequence or in parallel

    Related publications:

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    OmniSim

    Commercial software sold by Photon Design.

    OmniSim is a highly efficient finite difference time domain engine to simulate the propagation of light through various guiding structures and devices.

    Capabilities:

    • Fast speed optimised algorithm
    • Transparent and Lossy materials
    • Dispersive materials including metals, including Debye, Drude and mixed Drude/Lorentz models.
    • Dispersive perfectly-matched-layer boundary conditions
    • High performance perfectly matched layers
    • Metal, magnetic and periodic boundary conditions
    • Non-linear materials including chi2 and chi3
    • Anisotripic refractive index - general tensor
    • Magnetic materials
    • Built-in mode solver for excitation of waveguide mode
    • Measurement of power in waveguide modes using built-in mode solver, or import of FIMMWAVE modes
    • Sub-gridding - ability to create 2x, 4x or greater increased resolution at certain positions. 4x subgridding can accelerate a simulation by up to 64x. Vital for modelling thin metals or small objects accurately, e.g. Mie scattering
    • Built-in Farfield Calculator
    • Single dipole source or volume of incoherent dipoles (eg for modelling an LED)
    • Plane wave source, Gaussian profile source
    • Arbitrary beam source, including beam direction, focal point, polarization and intensity profile
    • Net flux, forward flux and backward flux sensors, versus time, frequency or wavelength
    • Profile sensors - any field versus (x,y), (x,z) or (y,z) at chosen wavelength.
    • Run time monitoring of evolving fields
    • Cluster version available for both Windows and Linux
    • Cross-section monitors allow to see the evolving fields in any cross-section
    • FDTD accuracy diagnostics - monitor in real time the accuracy of the FDTD simulation
    • Sensors to measure fields, intensity and power flux versus time, wavelength or space
    • Fast Fourier Transform calculations to generate output, transmission and reflection spectra
    • Overlap integrals to monitor the power in a waveguide mode
    • Directional flux monitors calculate forward and reverse flux through a sensor
    • Vertical and horizontal sensors
    • Far-field sensors

    Related publications:

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    OptiFDTD

    Commercial software sold by Optiwave.

    OptiFDTD is a powerful, highly integrated, and user friendly CAD environment that enables the design and simulation of advanced passive and non-linear photonic components.

    Capabilities:

    • Design, analysis and testing of modern passive and nonlinear photonic components for wave propagation, scattering, reflection, diffraction, polarization and the nonlinear phenomenon
    • The core program of OptiFDTD is based on the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) algorithm with second-order numerical accuracy
    • Uniaxial perfectly matched layer (UPML) boundary condition
    • The algorithm solves both electric and magnetic fields in temporal and spatial domain using the full-vector differential form of Maxwell's coupled curl equations
    • Arbitrary model geometries are allowed
    • No restriction on the material properties of the devices

    Waveguide-Related Applications:

    • Anisotropic materials
    • Optical micro-ring filters and resonators
    • Grating-based waveguide structures
    • Complex integrated optics structures
    • Nonlinear materials, dispersive materials
    • Photonic surface plasmon and surface plasma wave
    • Photonic band gap materials and devices
    • Photonic crystal fibers

    Related publications:

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    Sim3D_Max

    Commercial software sold by Nonlinear Control Strategies (NLCSTR).

    Sim3D_Max is a simulation package, which implements the FDTD algorithm on a nonuniform mesh, is designed to run as a stand-alone program as well as in conjunction with DIFFRACT™. The interface with DIFFRACT™ makes it especially powerful for simulations that involve near-field interactions with subwavelength structures as well as propagation through complex optical systems.

    Capabilities:

    • Sim3D_Max is a computationally intensive code that can run in parallel and take advantage of multiple processors in a multi-core, multi-cpu workstation or a network cluster of such workstations running Windows operating system.
    • Sim3D_Max supports clusters of Windows™ NT,2000 and XP workstations as well as Microsoft™ Windows Compute Cluster Server based High Performance systems that use MS MPI™.
    • Sim3D_Max™ is available with the Acceleware™ hardware acceleration option that allows for a several fold improvement in the computation speed for desktop systems.
    • Integrated Graphical User Interface (GUI).

    Related publications:

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    XFdtd

    Commercial software sold by Remcom.

    XFdtd is a full wave 3D electromagnetic solver based on the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method.

    Waveguides-Related Applications:

    • Photonic crystal waveguides
    • Plasmonic waveguides
    • Nano-apertures
    • Negative index materials

    Related publications:

    • B.S. Hwang et al., "Use of a near-field optical probe to locally launch surface plasmon polaritons on plasmonic waveguides: A study by the finite difference time domain method," K. K. Sengur et al., "Microscopy Research and Technique 64, 453 (2004).
    • Ridge waveguide as a near field aperture for high density data storage," J. Appl. Phys. 96, 2743 (2004).
    • E. X. Jin and X. Xu, "Finitte-Difference Time-Domain Studies on Optical Transmission through Planar Nano-Apertures in a Metal Film," Japanese J. Appl. Phys. 43, 407 (2004).

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    EMPLab2D/EMPLab3D

    Commercial software sold by EM Photonics.

    EMPLab is a general-purpose finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) based environment for the design and analysis of two- and three-dimensional structures based on their electromagnetic properties. An upgrade, EMPLab Accelerator integrated into EMPLab,is available to increase computational speed. EMPLab Accelerator utilizes the graphics card in the PC, in addition to the PC’s microprocessor. Also, a commercial (Celerity) and a free (FastFDTD) "external" FDTD Acceleration tools are provided by EM Photonics.

    Capabilities:

    • Intuitive point-and-click CAD interface
    • Powerful object-oriented modeling
    • Efficient 2D and 3D FDTD engines
    • Includes plane wave, windowed plane wave, Gaussian beam, and point sources
    • User-defined material library
    • Variable PML boundary conditions
    • Homogeneous and inhomogeneous PML implementations
    • Calculates steady state and transient electromagnetic fields at user-defined locations
    • Built on top of MATLAB, results can be saved and imported into MATLAB for further analysis
    • Specialized utilities for design and analysis of photonic crystal devices and diffractive optical elements
    • Add-on toolboxes for additional functionality and versatility
    • Speedups of over 200x can be achieved with the EMPLab Accelerator when compared to the standard EMPLab package Powerful post-processing tools and steady-state analysis

    Applications:

    • Photonic crystals
    • Diffractive optical elements
    • Optical waveguides
    • Gratings

    Related publications:

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    Other free FDTD Software for optical waveguide
    modeling with a limited or no description

    GMES

    Free software.

    GMES is a free finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulation Python package developed at GIST to model photonic systems.

    Capabilities:

    • 3D computations
    • Flexible interactive user interface based upon the GNU Guile scripting language, and output in HDF5 format.
    • Portable to most Unix-like systems, and supports parallel environment using MPI.

    Gfdtd

    Free software developed by Choi Ki-young.

    Gfdtd is a 2D FDTD method program with Berenger's Perfect Matched Layer for EM-wave simulation under GNU/Linux system.

    Other FDTD Software primarily used
    for microwave waveguides

    QUICKWAVE

    Commercial software sold by Vector Fields.

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