An algorithm is presented for simulation of guided modes in a multilayer uniaxial structure with each layer characterized by its own ellipsoid of refractive indices and direction of optical axis. The proposed approach is based on presenting an electromagnetic field in each layer as a linear combination of ordinary and extraordinary waves coupled through the boundary conditions. The problem is reduced to two dimensions by considering the waves with a given projection of the wave vector on the plane of the waveguide. No a priori assumption about the guided-mode polarization is required in this method. Hybrid polarized modes appear naturally as solutions of a system of linear equations with respect to the amplitudes of the ordinary and extraordinary waves. The proposed approach covers a wide variety of important practical cases including isotropic waveguides, surface waves at the boundary between positive uniaxial crystal and isotropic medium, surface plasmons at metallic interfaces, uniaxial multilayers in a very general form, and leaky modes in such structures.
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