Abstract

We developed a general numerical method to calculate the spontaneous emission lifetime in an arbitrary microcavity, using a finite-difference time-domain algorithm. For structures with rotational symmetry we also developed a more efficient but less general algorithm. To simulate an open radiation problem, we use absorbing boundaries to truncate the computational domain. The accuracy of this method is limited only by numerical error and finite reflection at the absorbing boundaries. We compare our result with cases that can be solved analytically and find excellent agreement. Finally, we apply the method to calculate the spontaneous emission lifetime in a slab waveguide and in a dielectric microdisk, respectively.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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