A method is proposed that allows for significant improvement of the numerical efficiency of the standard finite difference beam propagation algorithm. The advantages of the proposed method derive from the fact that it allows for an arbitrary selection of the preferred direction of propagation. It is demonstrated that such flexibility is particularly useful when studying the properties of obliquely propagating optical beams. The results obtained show that the proposed method achieves the same level of accuracy as the standard finite difference beam propagation method but with lower order Padé approximations and a coarser finite difference mesh.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 28, 2008
Revised Manuscript: July 18, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: July 24, 2008
Published: August 8, 2008
Slawomir Sujecki, "Generalized rectangular finite difference beam propagation method," Appl. Opt. 47, 4280-4286 (2008)