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A frequency-dependent finite-difference time-domain formulation for transient propagation in plasma

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3 Author(s)
R. J. Luebbers ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA, USA ; F. Hunsberger ; K. S. Kunz

Previous FDTD (finite-difference time-domain) formulations were not capable of analyzing plasmas for two reasons. First, FDTD requires that at each time step the permittivity and conductivity be specified as constants that do not depend on frequency, while even for the simplest plasmas these parameters vary with frequency. Second, the permittivity of a plasma can be negative, which can cause terms in FDTD expressions to become singular. A novel FDTD formulation for frequency-dependent materials (FD)2TD has been developed. It is shown that (FD) 2TD can be applied to compute transient propagation in plasma when the plasma can be characterized by a complex frequency-dependent permittivity. While the computational example presented is for a pulse normally incident on an isotropic plasma slab, the (FD)2TD formulation is fully three-dimensional. It can accommodate arbitrary transient excitation, with the limitation that the excitation pulse must have no zero frequency energy component. Time-varying electron densities and/or collision frequencies could also be included. The formulation presented is for an isotropic plasma, but extension to anisotropic plasma should be fairly straightforward

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 1 )