## Abstract

Several known and widely used averaging techniques aiming to improve the accuracy of the two-dimensional finite-difference frequency-domain (FDFD) method, in the presence of material discontinuities, are reviewed, numerically tested, and compared with respect to their accuracies. Furthermore, all averaging techniques are rigorously and efficiently implemented using the Supercover Digital Differential Analyzer algorithm and a modified Liang–Barsky algorithm suitably adapted from computer graphics applications. The FDFD with Gaussian blurring; the FDFD with volume-polarized effective permittivity; the FDFD with volume-polarized effective permittivity on shifted cells; and the FDFD with anisotropic smoothing [FDFD (AS)] are compared with respect to their accuracies (for both TE and TM polarization), in the case of scattering by an infinite homogeneous cylinder (for which analytical solution exists) comprising a lossless dielectric, a high-index, low-loss dielectric, or a metal. Sample plots of the relative errors are presented for various field components. Absolute error norms (${L}_{2}$ and ${L}_{\infty}$) are also presented for both polarizations and for two grid-cell sizes for quantitative comparisons. The results show that the FDFD (AS) prevails in accuracy mainly because it satisfies the boundary conditions at the cylinder’s boundary the best. However, for the high-index dielectrics and metals, even the FDFD without any averaging gives very good results for the field components parallel to the uniformity direction. However, the FDFD (AS) is always more accurate when the in-plane field components are sought.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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