A three-dimensional fourth-order finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) program with a symplectic integrator scheme has been developed to solve the problem of light scattering by small particles. The symplectic scheme is nondissipative and requires no more storage than the conventional second-order FDTD scheme. The total-field and scattered-field technique is generalized to provide the incident wave source conditions in the symplectic FDTD (SFDTD) scheme. The perfectly matched layer absorbing boundary condition is employed to truncate the computational domain. Numerical examples demonstrate that the fourth-order SFDTD scheme substantially improves the precision of the near-field calculation. The major shortcoming of the fourth-order SFDTD scheme is that it requires more computer CPU time than a conventional second-order FDTD scheme if the same grid size is used. Thus, to make the SFDTD method efficient for practical applications, one needs to parallelize the corresponding computational code.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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