Near-field: A finite-difference time-dependent method for simulation of electrodynamics on small scales

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We develop near-field (NF), a very efficient finite-difference time-dependent (FDTD) approach for simulating electromagnetic systems in the near-field regime. NF is essentially a time-dependent version of the quasistatic frequency-dependent Poisson algorithm. We assume that the electric field is longitudinal, and hence propagates only a set of time-dependent polarizations and currents. For near-field scales, the time step (dt) is much larger than in the usual Maxwell FDTD approach, as it is not related to the velocity of light; rather, it is determined by the rate of damping and plasma oscillations in the material, so dt = 2.5 a.u. was well converged in our simulations. The propagation in time is done via a leapfrog algorithm much like Yees method, and only a single spatial convolution is needed per time step. In conjunction, we also develop a new and very accurate 8 and 9 Drude-oscillators fit to the permittivity of gold and silver, desired here because we use a large time step. We show that NF agrees with Mie-theory in the limit of small spheres and that it also accurately describes the evolution of the spectral shape as a function of the separation between two gold or silver spheres. The NF algorithm is especially efficient for systems with small scale dynamics and makes it very simple to introduce additional effects such as embedding. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

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Journal of Chemical Physics

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