Lumerical design software improves light propagation

Dec. 17, 2010
Version 7.0 of FDTD Solutions nanophotonic design software includes an integrated parameter sweep and optimization environment.

Version 7.0 of FDTD Solutions nanophotonic design software includes an integrated parameter sweep and optimization environment, a conformal mesh for nanophotonic design, an extended set of simulation primitives for the design of complex devices, and support for Mac OS X. Applications include improving light propagation in thin-film solar cells.
Lumerical Solutions
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Lumerical Solutions’ FDTD Solutions 7.0 Delivers Optimization and Conformal Meshing to Photonic Design

Vancouver, British Columbia October 28, 2010 – Lumerical Solutions Inc., a global provider of nanophotonic design software, today unveiled innovative improvements to its flagship product FDTD Solutions 7.0. Improvements to FDTD Solutions 7.0 include an integrated parameter sweep and optimization environment, industry’s first conformal mesh for nanophotonic design, an extended set of simulation primitives to facilitate the design of complex devices and support for Mac OS X.

“FDTD Solutions 7.0 continues Lumerical’s tradition of delivering groundbreaking innovation by combining state-of-the-art algorithms in an easy-to-use computer aided design environment,” said Dr. James Pond, Lumerical’s CTO. “Combined with highly usable optimization tools, FDTD Solutions 7.0 is the best industrial grade nanophotonic design tool available. Designers and researchers can now move forward quickly with assessing and optimizing their best design concepts.”

Designed Explicitly for Optimization, Computation Speed and Accuracy

FDTD Solutions 7.0 provides a means by which end users can achieve greater computational efficiency and improved accuracy through its unique implementation of Conformal Mesh Technology. In rapidly advancing industries like digital imaging and solar energy, the higher accuracy simulation results that are obtained by employing Conformal Mesh Technology are increasingly sought after.

Conformal Mesh Technology is a sophisticated description of Maxwell’s integral equations at interfaces between different media that yields subcell accuracy. Unlike similar technologies designed for lower frequency applications where most metals behave like perfect conductors, Lumerical’s approach builds on their proprietary Multi-Coefficient Materials to accurately treat the interfaces between arbitrary dispersive media found in real-world optical device designs.

“We use FDTD Solutions to solve for light propagation in thin-film solar cells,” says Dr. Inna Kozinsky, Senior Engineer at the Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, CA. “Since real-life solar cell devices are quite complex and contain many layers of materials, the conformal mesh of FDTD Solutions 7.0 will allow us to optimize the absorption in the solar cell active layers instead of setting up very fine meshes by hand and analyzing large amounts of simulation results.”

The optimization framework integrated within FDTD Solutions 7.0 will reduce significantly the time required to optimize multi-parameter device designs.

According to Dr. Axel Crocherie, Optical Characterization and Simulations Expert at STMicroelectronics, “the optimization function available in FDTD Solutions 7.0 is useful to quickly find the best operating point for microlens radius of curvature or the antireflective layers to optimize the quantum efficiency of CMOS images sensors. Together with the conformal mesh, we will be able to simulate very accurately the quantum efficiency of our CMOS image sensors, particularly the transmission of the back-end composed of several thin optical layers, whatever the wavelength and the source angle of incidence.”


Lumerical is now shipping Release 7.0 of FDTD Solutions. Interested parties can download a free, 30-day trial online or learn more about FDTD Solutions by visiting


Posted by Lee Mather

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