A three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) program has been developed to provide a numerical solution for light scattering by nonspherical dielectric particles. The perfectly matched layer (PML) absorbing boundary condition (ABC) is used to truncate the computational domain. As a result of using the PML ABC, the present FDTD program requires much less computer memory and CPU time than those that use traditional truncation techniques. For spheres with particle-size parameters as large as 40, the extinction and absorption efficiencies from the present FDTD program match the Mie results closely, with differences of less than ∼1%. The difference in the scattering phase function is typically smaller than ∼5%. The FDTD program has also been checked by use of the exact solution for light scattering by a pair of spheres in contact. Finally, applications of the PML FDTD to hexagonal particles and to spheres aggregated into tetrahedral structures are presented.
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ErrataWenbo Sun, "Permittivity in the finite-difference time-domain equations and maximum conductivity in the perfectly matched layer absorbing boundary conditions: erratum," Appl. Opt. 45, 2843-2843 (2006)