## Abstract

Typically the grating problem is formulated for TE and TM polarizations by using, respectively, the electric and magnetic fields aligned with the grating wall and perpendicular to the plane of incidence, and this leads to a one-field-component problem. For some grating profiles such as metallic gratings with a triangular profile, the prediction of TM polarization by using a standard finite-element method experiences a slower convergence rate, and this reduces the accuracy of the computed results and also introduces a numerical polarization effect. This discrepancy cannot be seen as a simple numerical issue, since it has been observed for different types of numerical methods based on the classical formulation. Hence an alternative formulation is proposed, where the grating problem is modeled by taking the electric field as unknown for TM polarization. The application of this idea to both TE and TM polarizations leads to a two-field-component problem. The purpose of the paper is to propose an edge finite-element method to solve this wave problem. A comparison of the results of the proposed formulation and the classical formulation shows improvement and robustness in the new approach.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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