FDTD Solutions is a 3D Maxwell solver, capable of analyzing the interaction of UV, visible, and IR radiation with complicated structures employing wavelength scale features. FDTD Solutions empowers designers to confront the most challenging photonic design problems. Rapid prototyping and highly-accurate simulations reduce reliance upon costly experimental prototypes, leading to a quicker assessment of design concepts and reduced product development costs. FDTD Solutions can facilitate your success in diverse application areas, from fundamental photonics research to current industrial applications in imaging, lighting, biophotonics, photovoltaics, and many more.
My opinion: This is my favorite software. It is quite user-friendly and good for beginners. It is specially designed to solve Maxwell equation with FDTD method and can only solve this problem.
You can model and simulate any physics-based system using COMSOL®. COMSOL Multiphysics® includes the COMSOL Desktop® graphical user interface (GUI) and a set of predefined user interfaces with associated modeling tools, referred to as physics interfaces, for modeling common applications. A suite of add-on products expands this multiphysics simulation platform for modeling specific application areas as well as interfacing to third-party software and their capabilities. COMSOL Multiphysics is required to run any of the add-on products.
My opinion: Comsol is perfect for solving multiple problems from various fields, such as the coupling problems between optics and heating like a laser heating a gold nanoparticle. Comsol is widely used in scientific research and industrial design. However, it is a little complicated for me to solve optical problems compared with Lumercial FDTD based on my personal experience. This is may because I learned Lumerical FDTD first. Of course, different persons have different opinions.
XFdtd Release 7 (XF7) is the market's most modern 3D electromagnetic simulation software for FDTD-based modeling and simulation. It’s tremendously fast by leveraging NVIDIA’s most advanced CUDA-enabled GPUs. And it’s easy to use and engineered to replicate real-world processes.
My opinion: XFDTD is more suitable in RF antenna design. I have experience with the earlier version of this software. Base on my experience, I am not happy with it for simulations in photonics. However, I did not know whether they have improved it in the latest version.
The electromagnetic simulation software CST STUDIO SUITE® is the culmination of many years of research and development into the most accurate and efficient computational solutions for electromagnetic designs. It comprises CST’s tools for the design and optimization of devices operating in a wide range of frequencies - static to optical. Analyses may include thermal and mechanical effects, as well as circuit simulation.
Optiwave has been successfully developing FDTD software for over a decade, and would like to show appreciation to the photonics community by distributing its 32-bit FDTD product as freeware. OptiFDTD enables you to design, analyze and test modern passive and nonlinear photonic components for wave propagation, scattering, reflection, diffraction, polarization and nonlinear phenomena. The core program of OptiFDTD is based on the Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) algorithm with second-order numerical accuracy and the most advanced boundary conditions – Uniaxial Perfectly Matched Layer (UPML). The algorithm solves both electric and magnetic fields in temporal and spatial domain using the full-vector differential form of Maxwell’s coupled curl equations. This allows for arbitrary model geometries and places no restriction on the material properties of the devices.
The FRED Optical Engineering Software is capable of simulating the propagation of light through any optomechanical system by raytracing. Whether the design is imported from CAD, a lens design program, or constructed from within the software itself, FRED provides engineers with the essential tool for virtual prototyping optical systems. The generality to which optical properties can be assigned to objects in the system model means that FRED is not restricted to any one class of problems. Its capability to propagate both incoherent and coherent light means that FRED can be used for a diverse range of applications that include stray light, laser applications, illumination and non-imaging optics, imaging systems, multi-wavelength systems, and thermal imaging.
CODE V is used to model, analyze, optimize, and provide fabrication support for the development of optical systems for diverse applications. It provides a powerful and yet easy-to-use toolkit of optical techniques and calculations that enables you to create superior designs that will work right when built.
OpticStudio is the pinnacle of optical and illumination design software, an evolution engineered by Zemax. The intuitive user interface combined with a comprehensive array of features and unmatched functionality make OpticStudio the preferred design platform for engineers, researchers and designers around the world. Built on Zemax’s core physics engine, OpticStudio is fast, reliable and accurate. Innovate with speed and confidence using OpticStudio from Zemax. Zemax engineered three separate editions of OpticStudio – Standard, Professional and Premium, so you can choose the edition with the features you need.
Qioptiq has been developing and supplying optical design software since 1992. The professional Qioptiq optical design software package consists of the following programs:
- WinLens 3D: design, analysis & optimisation of optical systems
- Tolerancer: tolerancing of optical systems, ISO 10110 element drawings
- Glass Manager: database of optical materials / glasses
- Material Editor: utility to create, edit and manage custom materials
Short description how optical design software works: (website)
A full category of optical design software can be found at optenso.com.