OptiFDTD 12.0 includes several major enhancements and new features improving design, simulation capabilities, ease of use, and productivity.

NEW FEATURE Full 64-bit Software

OptiFDTD has been thoroughly re-engineered to take full advantage of recent processor and memory evolution. Every aspect of OptiFDTD now utilizes 64-bit processing technology for optimal performance.


The new editor improves the design experience by enabling users to visualize and directly edit design objects in three dimensions. Simple mouse operations enable zooming, panning and tumbling within the simulation domain.

fdtd 3D photonic crystal t-branch

Fig 1: The new 3D editor displaying a “T-branch” photonic crystal layout

For more precise positioning and better visualization of hidden geometry, the 3D editor can be replaced by a 4-quadrant window showing three orthographic views (XY, XZ, YZ) and a 3D representation of the layout. The Wireframe Mode can be activated to visualize intersecting objects more precisely.

fdtd solar cell

Fig 2:  4-quadrants editor showing an optimized plasmonic solar-cell design

NEW FEATURE Project Browser

The new project browser enhances productivity by categorizing all components (geometry, input sources, and detectors) into a single window that can be quickly and easily accessed.

fdtd ring resonator

 Fig 3:  Project Browser showing components of a ring resonator

NEW FEATURE Design Tutor

Ideal for beginners, the Design Tutor presents a step-by-step workflow for preparing, designing and simulating photonic components. Each step is explained in detail in the offline help, which is now accessible via the Help menu.  This menu also acts as a shortcut for information about common software functions.

fdtd design tutor

Fig 4:  Design Tutor

NEW FEATURE Matrix and Mesh Converter

Two new tools were added to the OptiFDTD Toolbox:  Matrix Converter and Mesh Converter. The Matrix Converter converts field data to a format compatible with external software tools (such as Matlab and Origin). The mesh converter converts an OptiBPM output field to an OptiFDTD input field.

NEW FEATURE 3D Refractive Index Viewer

The new 3D refractive index and optical field viewers provide users with a more detailed and real-time view of the data. Non-uniform FDTD meshes can also be visualized.

fdtd solar cell refractive index

Fig 5:  Refractive index viewer showing a slice of an optimized plasmonic solar-cell


The analyzer’s graphical user interface has been enhanced with the introduction of a Project Browser and 3D Editor to provide a better user experience.  An improved detector analysis window also gives users a more detailed visualization of the simulation data.

fdtd coupler splitter dft analysis

Fig 6:  Observation Area DFT analysis of a 2D TE coupler/splitter

NEW FEATURE OptiMode Improvements

OptiMode’s Transparent Boundary Conditions (TBC) can now be used in the Finite Difference (FD) mode solver.  The accuracy of the mode solver solutions is important for leaky waveguides and structures with high-index contrast.  The solver’s graphical user interface has been re- designed to include enhanced visualization graphs along with tools for easier interaction.

fdtd optical mode rectangular wavegude
Fig 7: OptiMode FD mode solver showing the fundamental mode of a rectangular waveguide

Features Added In OptiFDTD 11.0 > >