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Comparison of Numerical Methods for the Analysis of Plasmonic Structures

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Numerical simulations of plasmonic structures are very demanding and expensive in terms of memory and CPU time, making the selection of a suitable numerical method for the field computation important. To examine this problem, we applied several numerical methods to a group of 2D plasmonic nanowire problems. In particular, we examine the Finite Element Method (FEM) and the Finite Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) method from the family of domain-discretization methods. We also look at the Multiple Multipole Program (MMP), the Method of Auxiliary Sources (MAS), and the Mesh-less Boundary Integral Equation (BIE) method from the family of boundary-discretization methods. We quantitatively compare several results generated from each method to make some conclusions about their applicability and accuracy for plasmonic simulations. Domain-discretization methods (FEM and FDTD) can reach a high level of accuracy only with a high discretization. This is affordable on modern computer hardware in 2D. Recommendations for improving this are provided. The boundary-discretization techniques have a clear advantage in terms of speed, matrix size, and accuracy in 2D. This advantage may disappear in the full 3D analysis of geometrically complicated structures. This happens because matrices become denser or more ill-conditioned. Therefore the most efficient method depends on the problem dimension and complexity.
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Keywords: BOUNDARY INTEGRAL EQUATIONS; FINITE DIFFERENCE TIME-DOMAIN; FINITE ELEMENT METHOD; METHOD OF AUXILIARY SOURCES; MULTIPLE MULTIPOLE PROGRAM; SURFACE PLASMON RESONANCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience is an international peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all aspects of computational and theoretical nanoscience into a single reference source. This journal offers scientists and engineers peer-reviewed research papers in all aspects of computational and theoretical nanoscience and nanotechnology in chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering and biology to publish original full papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews and short communications encompassing the fundamental and applied research.
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