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Appl Opt. 2005 Apr 1;44(10):1977-83.

Finite-difference time-domain solution of light scattering by an infinite dielectric column immersed in an absorbing medium.

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  • 1Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia 23668, USA.


The two-dimensional (2-D) finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method is applied to calculate light scattering and absorption by an arbitrarily shaped infinite column embedded in an absorbing dielectric medium. A uniaxial perfectly matched layer (UPML) absorbing boundary condition is used to truncate the computational domain. The single-scattering properties of the infinite column embedded in the absorbing medium, including scattering phase functions and extinction and absorption efficiencies, are derived by use of an area integration of the internal field. An exact solution for light scattering and absorption by a circular cylinder in an absorbing medium is used to examine the accuracy of the 2-D UPML FDTD code. With use of a cell size of 1/120 incident wavelength in the FDTD calculations, the errors in the extinction and absorption efficiencies and asymmetry factors from the 2-D UPML FDTD are generally smaller than approximately 0.1%. The errors in the scattering phase functions are typically smaller than approximately 4%. With the 2-D UPML FDTD technique, light scattering and absorption by long noncircular columns embedded in absorbing media can be accurately solved.

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