
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
 Nonlinearity
 2D and 3D simulations supported  either can be done on the same design.
 Subgridding 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
 Runtime monitoring of evolving fields as they propagate
 Clickanddrop 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
 Yjuntions and bends
 Photonic crystal sensors
Related publications:
 A.V. Lavrinenko et al., "Optimization of photonic crystal 60° waveguide bends for broadband and slowlight transmission," Appl. Phys. B 87, 53 (2007).
 N. Skivesen, A. Têtu, M. Kristensen, J. Kjems, L. H. Frandsen, and P. I. Borel, Photoniccrystal waveguide biosensor, Opt. Express 15, 3169 (2007).
 C. Jin et al., Transmission of photonic crystal coupledresonator waveguide (PhCCRW) structure enhanced via mode matching, Opt. Express 13, 2295 (2005).
 M. Ayre et al., "Experimental verification of numerically optimized photonic crystal injector, Ysplitter, and bend," IEEE J. Sel. Areas Commun. 7, 1390 (2005).
to page top ...
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, realtime 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 subgrid 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 noncommercial 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, fullvector nearfieldtofarfield transformation engine. Its underlying algorithm is valid in all field zones including near, intermediate, and far fields.
 In addition to freespace 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.

WaveguideRelated Applications:
 Photonic crystal waveguide, splitter
 Surface plasmon waveguides
 Negative index material structures
Related publications:
to page top ...
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.
WaveguidesRelated Applications:
 Conventional waveguides
 Waveguide tapers and bends
 Negative refraction
 Ring resonator filters
 Disk resonator filters
 Wave splitters
Related publications:
 Richter et al., "Modeling of photonic crystal waveguide structures," Proceedings of SPIE  Volume 6581 Metamaterials II, Vladimir Kuzmiak, Peter Markos, Tomasz Szoplik, Editors, 65810X (2007).
 H. Zhang et al., Collimations and negative refractions by slabs of 2D photonic crystals with periodicallyaligned tubetype air holes, Opt. Express 15, 3519 (2007).
 A. Säynätjoki et al., Dispersion engineering of photonic crystal waveguides with ringshaped holes, Opt. Express 15, 83238328 (2007).
 J. Ctyroký et al., "Dual resonance in a waveguidecoupled ring microresonator," Opt. and Quantum Electron. 38, 781 (2006).
 Z. Zhang and M. Qiu, Coupledmode analysis of a resonant channel drop filter using waveguides with mirror boundaries, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 23, 104 (2006).
 A. Säynätjoki et al., "Characterization of photonic crystal waveguides using FabryPerot resonances," J. Opt. A: Pure Appl. Opt. 8 S502 (2006).
to page top ...
Commercial software sold by by Lumerical.
FDTD Solutions is a highperformance single and multiprocessor 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 raytracing 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, userdefined (parametric) surfaces, spheres and pyramids
 Radiation sources: waveguide sources, dipoles, plane waves, focused beams and diffractionlimited spots, totalfield scatteredfield (TFSF) sources, and source import/export from/to BRO's ASAP raytracing program
 Measurement monitors: refractive index monitors, time and frequencydomain monitors to measure pulsed or continuouswave (CW) field profiles and power flow, and movie monitors to generate .mpg movies of field dynamics
WaveguidesRelated 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., "Voltagetuned 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 quantumdot Purcell factor and β factor in a photonic crystal waveguide," Phys. Rev. B 75, 205437 (2007).
 E. Bisaillon et al., High reflectivity airbridge subwavelength grating reflector and FabryPerot cavity in AlGaAs/GaAs, Opt. Express 14, 25732582 (2006).
 R. Gordon et al., "Resonant Light Transmission Through a Nanohole in a Metal Film," IEEE Trans. Nanotechnol. 3, 291 (2006).
to page top ...
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 finitedifference timedomain (FDTD) method for the fullyvectorial simulation of photonic structures.
Capabilities:
 Both two and threedimensional 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 twodimensional simulations would be prohibitively time consuming and large threedimensional 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 nonlinear effects can be incorporated into a simulation. Full control of dispersion for both linear and nonlinear 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 arbitrarilyoriented anisotropy is also supported.
 FullWAVE also includes several boundary condition types. The perfectlymatchedlayer (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 antisymmetric 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 microlithography
 Metrology
 Highindex contrast waveguide devices
Related publications:
 M. Haurylau et al., "Onchip 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., "Allangle lefthanded 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 slotwaveguide, 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 2D 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. 48544856, November 22, 2004.
 J. Zarbakhsh et al., "Arbitrary angle waveguiding applications of 2D curvilinearlattice photonic crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 4687 (2004).
 N. Watari et al., "Optical design that increases lightextraction efficiencies of organic lightemitting devices through finitedifference timedomain method," Japanese J. Appl. Phys. 43, 7010 (2004).
 Y. Fong and A. W. Poon, Mode field patterns and preferential mode coupling in planar waveguidecoupled square microcavities, Opt. Express 11, 2897 (2003).
 P. Sanchis et al., "Analysis of adiabatic coupling between photonic crystal singlelinedefect and coupledresonator 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 lefthanded 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 silicononinsulator waveguide structure," Appl. Phys. Lett. 81, 2340 (2002).
to page top ...
Free software developed by MIT group.
Meep (or MEEP) is a free finitedifference timedomain (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 Unixlike system
 Dispersive ε(ω) (including loss/gain) and nonlinear (Kerr & Pockels) materials
 PML absorbing boundaries and/or perfect conductor and/or Blochperiodic 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 frontend (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
 Multiparameter optimization, rootfinding, integration, etcetera (via libctl)
 Timedomain simulation
Applications:
 Transmission and reflection spectra  by Fouriertransforming 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 (fixedω) 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 multiparameter optimization) in sequence or in parallel
Related publications:
 B. Maes, M. Ibanescu, J. D. Joannopoulos, P. Bienstman, and R. Baets, Microcavities based on multimodal interference, Opt. Express 15, 6268 (2007).
 Farjadpour, D. Roundy, A. Rodriguez, M. Ibanescu, P. Bermel, J. D. Joannopoulos, S. G. Johnson, and G. W. Burr, Improving accuracy by subpixel smoothing in the finitedifference time domain, Opt. Lett. 31, 2972 (2006).
 M. L. Povinelli and S. Fan "Radiation loss of coupledresonator waveguides in photoniccrystal slabs," Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 191114 (2006).
 K. Huang, S. Yang, and L. Tong, Modeling of evanescent coupling between two parallel optical nanowires, Appl. Opt. 46, 1429 (2007).
to page top ...
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 perfectlymatchedlayer boundary conditions
 High performance perfectly matched layers
 Metal, magnetic and periodic boundary conditions
 Nonlinear materials including chi2 and chi3
 Anisotripic refractive index  general tensor
 Magnetic materials
 Builtin mode solver for excitation of waveguide mode
 Measurement of power in waveguide modes using builtin mode solver, or import of FIMMWAVE modes
 Subgridding  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
 Builtin 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
 Crosssection monitors allow to see the evolving fields in any crosssection
 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
 Farfield sensors
Related publications:
to page top ...
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 nonlinear 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 finitedifference timedomain (FDTD) algorithm with secondorder numerical accuracy
 Uniaxial perfectly matched layer (UPML) boundary condition
 The algorithm solves both electric and magnetic fields in temporal and spatial domain using the fullvector differential form of Maxwell's coupled curl equations
 Arbitrary model geometries are allowed
 No restriction on the material properties of the devices
WaveguideRelated Applications:
 Anisotropic materials
 Optical microring filters and resonators
 Gratingbased 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:
 C. Hafner et al., Resolution of negativeindex slabs, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 23, 1768 (2006).
 B. Lamontagne et al., "Fabrication of outofplane micromirrors in silicononinsulator planar waveguides," J. Vacuum Science Technol. A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films 24, 718 (2006).
 P. Cheben et al., "Frontiers in Planar Lightwave Circuit Technology Design, Simulation, and Fabrication," NATO Science Series 216, 235 (2006).
 V. Passaro et al., Investigation of thermooptic effect and multireflector tunable filter/multiplexer in SOI waveguides, Opt. Express 13, 3429 (2005).
to page top ...
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 standalone program as well as in conjunction with DIFFRACT™. The interface with DIFFRACT™ makes it especially powerful for simulations that involve nearfield 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 multicore, multicpu 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:
 A.R. Zakharian et al., "Surface plasmon polaritons on metallic surfaces", IEEE Tran. on Magnetics 43, 845 (2007).
 R. Zakharian et al., Surface plasmon polaritons on metallic surfaces, Opt. Express 15, 183 (2007).
 Y. Xie et al., Transmission of light through a periodic array of slits in a thick metallic film, Opt. Express 13, 4485 (2005).
 T. Liu et al., "Intersection of nonidentical optical waveguides based on photonic crystals," Opt. Lett. 30, 2409 (2005).
 T. Liu et al., "Multimode InterferenceBased Photonic Crystal Waveguide Power Splitter", J. Lightwave Technol. 22, 2842 (2004).
 Y. Xie et al., Transmission of Light Through Slit Apertures in Metallic Films, Opt. Express 12, 6106 (2004).
 A. R. Zakharian et al., Transmission of Light Through Small Elliptical Apertures, Opt. Express 12, 2631 (2004).
 A. R. Zakharian et al., "Computer simulations of the nearfield effects in highdensity optical disk data storage", IEEE Computing in Science and Engineering 5, 15 (2003).
to page top ...
Commercial software sold by Remcom.
XFdtd is a full wave 3D electromagnetic solver based on the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method.
WaveguidesRelated Applications:
 Photonic crystal waveguides
 Plasmonic waveguides
 Nanoapertures
 Negative index materials
Related publications:
 B.S. Hwang et al., "Use of a nearfield 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, "FinitteDifference TimeDomain Studies on Optical Transmission through Planar NanoApertures in a Metal Film," Japanese J. Appl. Phys. 43, 407 (2004).
to page top ...
Commercial software sold by EM Photonics.
EMPLab is a generalpurpose finitedifference timedomain (FDTD) based environment for the design and analysis of two and threedimensional 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 pointandclick CAD interface
 Powerful objectoriented modeling
 Efficient 2D and 3D FDTD engines
 Includes plane wave, windowed plane wave, Gaussian beam, and point sources
 Userdefined material library
 Variable PML boundary conditions
 Homogeneous and inhomogeneous PML implementations
 Calculates steady state and transient electromagnetic fields at userdefined 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
 Addon 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 postprocessing tools and steadystate analysis
Applications:
 Photonic crystals
 Diffractive optical elements
 Optical waveguides
 Gratings
Related publications:
to page top ...
Other free FDTD Software for optical waveguide modeling with a limited or no description
GMES
Free software.
GMES is a free finitedifference timedomain (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 Unixlike systems, and supports parallel environment using MPI.
Gfdtd
Free software developed by Choi Kiyoung.
Gfdtd is a 2D FDTD method program with Berenger's Perfect Matched Layer for EMwave simulation under GNU/Linux system.
Other FDTD Software primarily used for microwave waveguides
QUICKWAVE
Commercial software sold by Vector Fields.
to page top ...
