## Abstract

We consider numerical modeling of the optical properties of devices typical of beam-steering devices based on liquid-crystal materials: two-dimensional, anisotropic and inhomogeneous dielectric properties, periodic in one dimension. A mathematical formulation of the system of second-order partial differential equations for the components of the time-harmonic electric field is discretized by using a finite-element method based on curl-conforming edge elements. The discrete equations are also interpreted as equivalent finite-difference equations. It is shown how the resulting large sparse complex system of linear algebraic equations can be solved by an iterative method with convergence accelerated by a preconditioner based on fast Fourier transforms. Benchmarking results and the application to a realistic problem are reported. The practical limitations of the approach and its advantages and disadvantages compared with other approaches are discussed.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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