Lumerical Solutions has announced the release of FDTD Solutions 8.0, the nanophotonic design environment based on the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) technique. Release 8.0 extends the material modelling capabilities of prior versions to include the ability to model liquid crystals and other spatially-varying anisotropic materials. Also present is a Flexible Material Plugin (FMP) framework that enables researchers to model a wide variety of other materials, including nonlinear, magneto-optical and saturable gain materials.
Modular FMPs can be combined with Lumerical’s proprietary Multi-Coefficient Materials (MCMs), providing an extensible design environment for modelling complex nanophotonic systems. With MCMs offering the turn-key ability to generate accurate broadband material models, and the FMP providing an open framework for researchers to add onto those MCMs nonlinearities, gain and other effects of interest, users can build broadband material models offering arbitrary accuracy and unrestricted complexity.
‘We’ve been in discussions with the nonlinear photonics community for years, working to understand their diverse interests and to develop a design environment that can accommodate their needs,’ commented Dr James Pond, Lumerical’s CTO. ‘With the release of FDTD Solutions 8.0, researchers can quickly write a few lines of code to incorporate a Kerr medium into their simulation, or painstakingly develop hundreds of lines of code to model a multi-level atomic system. Either way, when it comes to simulation, with FDTD Solutions 8.0 researchers can focus on developing sophisticated material models while relying on Lumerical for everything else.’
Aiding the development and sharing of these FMPs, they are written in native C/C++/Fortran computer source code and compiled into dynamically linked library plugins for FDTD Solutions. This allows for the open joint development of source code by collaborators, or the restricted sharing of binary material models coded by third-party developers. Validated FMPs developed by external parties that are shared with Lumerical will be included in standard, cross-platform build packages available to the photonics community.