Developing compact algorithms for accurate electrodynamic calculations with minimal computational cost is an active area of research given the increasing complexity in the design of electromagnetic composite structures such as photonic crystals, metamaterials, optical interconnects, and on-chip routing. We show that electric and magnetic (EM) fields can be calculated using scalar Hermite interpolation polynomials as the numerical basis functions without having to invoke edge-based vector finite elements to suppress spurious solutions or to satisfy boundary conditions. This approach offers several fundamental advantages as evidenced through band structure solutions for periodic systems and through waveguide analysis. Compared with reciprocal space (plane wave expansion) methods for periodic systems, advantages are shown in computational costs, the ability to capture spatial complexity in the dielectric distributions, the demonstration of numerical convergence with scaling, and variational eigenfunctions free of numerical artifacts that arise from mixed-order real space basis sets or the inherent aberrations from transforming reciprocal space solutions of finite expansions. The photonic band structure of a simple crystal is used as a benchmark comparison and the ability to capture the effects of spatially complex dielectric distributions is treated using a complex pattern with highly irregular features that would stress spatial transform limits. This general method is applicable to a broad class of physical systems, e.g., to semiconducting lasers which require simultaneous modeling of transitions in quantum wells or dots together with EM cavity calculations, to modeling plasmonic structures in the presence of EM field emissions, and to on-chip propagation within monolithic integrated circuits.
Boucher, C. R., Li, Z., Albrecht, J. D., & Ram-Mohan, L. R. (2014). Efficient modeling of photonic crystals with local Hermite polynomials. Journal of Applied Physics, 115(15). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4871459
*denotes a WPI undergraduate student author