OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 2000
  • pp: 3727–3737

Efficient finite-difference time-domain scheme for light scattering by dielectric particles: application to aerosols

Ping Yang, K. N. Liou, Michael I. Mishchenko, and Bo-Cai Gao  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 21, pp. 3727-3737 (2000)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (192 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We have examined the Maxwell-Garnett, inverted Maxwell-Garnett, and Bruggeman rules for evaluation of the mean permittivity involving partially empty cells at particle surface in conjunction with the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) computation. Sensitivity studies show that the inverted Maxwell-Garnett rule is the most effective in reducing the staircasing effect. The discontinuity of permittivity at the interface of free space and the particle medium can be minimized by use of an effective permittivity at the cell edges determined by the average of the permittivity values associated with adjacent cells. The efficiency of the FDTD computational program is further improved by use of a perfectly matched layer absorbing boundary condition and the appropriate coding technique. The accuracy of the FDTD method is assessed on the basis of a comparison of the FDTD and the Mie calculations for ice spheres. This program is then applied to light scattering by convex and concave aerosol particles. Comparisons of the scattering phase function for these types of aerosol with those for spheres and spheroids show substantial differences in backscattering directions. Finally, we illustrate that the FDTD method is robust and flexible in computing the scattering properties of particles with complex morphological configurations.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(010.1310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric scattering
(010.3920) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Meteorology
(280.1100) Remote sensing and sensors : Aerosol detection
(290.1090) Scattering : Aerosol and cloud effects
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles

Original Manuscript: October 21, 1999
Revised Manuscript: April 24, 2000
Published: July 20, 2000

Ping Yang, K. N. Liou, Michael I. Mishchenko, and Bo-Cai Gao, "Efficient finite-difference time-domain scheme for light scattering by dielectric particles: application to aerosols," Appl. Opt. 39, 3727-3737 (2000)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. K. Yee, “Numerical solution of initial boundary value problems involving Maxwell’s equation in isotropic media,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. AP-14, 302–307 (1966).
  2. P. Yang, K. N. Liou, “Light scattering by hexagonal ice crystals: comparison of finite-difference time domain and geometric optics models,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 12, 162–176 (1995). [CrossRef]
  3. P. Yang, K. N. Liou, “Finite-difference time domain method for light scattering by small ice crystals in three-dimensional space,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 2072–2085 (1996). [CrossRef]
  4. J. C. Maxwell-Garnett, “Colours in metal glasses and in metallic films,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. A 203, 385–420 (1904). [CrossRef]
  5. B. J. Berenger, “A perfectly matched layer for the absorption of electromagnetic waves,” J. Comput. Phys. 114, 185–200 (1994). [CrossRef]
  6. B. J. Berenger, “Three-dimensional perfect matched layer for the absorption of electromagnetic wave,” J. Comput. Phys. 127, 363–379 (1996). [CrossRef]
  7. C. A. G. Bruggeman, “Gerechung verschiedener physikalischer Konstanten von heterogenen Subsganzen,” Ann. Phys. (Leipzig) 24, 636–679 (1935). [CrossRef]
  8. P. Yang, K. N. Liou, “An efficient algorithm for truncating spatial domain in modeling light scattering by finite-difference technique,” J. Comput. Phys. 140, 346–369 (1998). [CrossRef]
  9. D. S. Katz, E. T. Thiele, A. Taflove, “Validation and extension to three dimensions of Berenger PML absorbing boundary condition for FD-TD meshes,” IEEE Microwave Guided Wave Lett. 4, 268–270 (1994). [CrossRef]
  10. W. Sun, Q. Fu, Z. Chen, “Finite-difference time-domain solution of light scattering by dielectric particles with a perfectly matched layer absorbing boundary condition,” Appl. Opt. 38, 3141–3151 (1999). [CrossRef]
  11. P. Yang, K. N. Liou, “Finite difference time domain method for light scattering by nonspherical and inhomogeneous particles,” in Light Scattering by Nonspherical Particles: Theory, Measurements, and Applications, M. I. Mishchenko, J. W. Hovenier, L. D. Travis, eds. (Academic, San Diego, Calif., 1999), pp. 173–221.
  12. G. Lazzi, O. P. Gandhi, “On the optimal design of the PML absorbing boundary condition for the FDTD code,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. 45, 914–916 (1996). [CrossRef]
  13. S. C. Hill, A. C. Hill, P. W. Barber, “Light scattering by size/shape distribution of soil particles and spheroids,” Appl. Opt. 23, 1025–2430 (1988). [CrossRef]
  14. K. Okada, A. Kobayashi, Y. Iwasaka, H. Naruse, T. Tanaka, O. Nemoto, “Features of individual Asian dust-storm particles collected at Nagoya, Japan,” J. Meteorol. Soc. Jpn. 65, 515–521 (1987).
  15. T. Nakajima, M. Tanaka, M. Yamano, M. Shiobara, K. Arao, Y. Nakanishi, “Aerosol optical characteristics in the yellow sand events observed in May 1982 at Nagasaki. II. Models,” J. Meteorol. Soc. Jpn. 67, 279–291 (1989).
  16. M. Wang, H. R. Gordan, “Estimating aerosol optical properties over the oceans with multiangle imaging spectroradiometer: some preliminary results,” Appl. Opt. 33, 4042–4057 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. M. I. Mishchenko, A. A. Lacis, B. E. Carlson, L. D. Travis, “Nonsphericity of dust-like tropospherical aerosols: implications for aerosol remote sensing and climate modeling,” Geophys. Res. Lett. 22, 1077–1080 (1995). [CrossRef]
  18. M. I. Mishchenko, L. D. Travis, R. A. Kahn, R. A. West, “Modeling phase functions for dustlike tropospheric aerosols using a shape mixture of randomly oriented polydisperse spheroids,” J. Geophys. Res. 102, 16,831–16,847 (1997). [CrossRef]
  19. M. I. Mishchenko, L. D. Travis, “Light scattering by polydispersions of randomly oriented spheroids with sizes comparable to wavelengths of observation,” Appl. Opt. 33, 7206–7225 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. R. H. Zerull, “Scattering measurements of dielectric and absorbing nonspherical particles,” Beitr. Phys. Atmos. 49, 168–188 (1976).
  21. J. B. Pollack, J. N. Cuzzi, “Scattering by nonspherical particles of size comparable to a wavelength: a new semi-empirical theory and its application to tropospheric aerosols,” J. Atmos. Sci. 37, 868–881 (1980). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited