Discrete Dipole Approximation

In the discrete dipole approximation the target is replaced by an array of point dipoles; the electromagnetic scattering problem for the array of point dipoles is then solved essentially exactly. This method is also called method of momets, coupled dipole approximation, digitized Green's function, volume integral. The codes in this class work for one-, two-, and three-dimensional problems as well as for periodic arbitrary objects up to medium size parameter range (say, 0-100, where x=2pi r/lambda). The method compares well with scattering efficiencies for spheres and other known semi-analytical and approximate solutions.


  • Wikipedia Discrete Dipole Approximation article
  • Draine, B.T., and P.J. Flatau. Discrete dipole approximation for scattering calculations. J. Opt. Soc. Am. A , 11 :1491 1499, 1994.
  • M. A. Yurkin and A. G. Hoekstra, "The discrete dipole approximation: an overview and recent developments," J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer 106, 558-589 (2007).
  • Draine, B. T. and Flatau, P. J., The discrete dipole approximation for periodic targets: theory and tests. Vol. 25, November 2008, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, http://arxiv.org/abs/0809.0338
Name Author Type Language Description
DDSCAT http://ddscat.com/ B. T. Draine and Piotr J. Flatau discrete dipole approximation Fortran95 Program to calculate scattering and absorption of electromagnetic radiation by arbitrary targets (say, cube) and by periodic arbitrary targets (for example infinite cyclinders or nano-arrays). Double precision and dynamic memory allocation is supported. One can calculate near field solutions. See [alternative site ]
DDSCATcpp moc.liamg|lysav.yilohc#lysaV yilohC discrete dipole approximation C++ Program to calculate scattering and absorption of electromagnetic radiation by arbitrary targets (say, cube) and by periodic arbitrary targets (for example infinite cyclinders or nano-arrays)]]
ADDA https://github.com/adda-team/adda Maxim A. Yurkin (moc.liamg|nikruy#moc.liamg|nikruy) and Alfons G. Hoekstra discrete dipole approximation C Software package to calculate scattering and absorption of electromagnetic waves by particles of arbitrary geometry using the Discrete Dipole Approximation (DDA). [Previous site on google code]
e-DDA Rodrigo Alcaraz De La Osa dda Fortran A Fortran code for calculating scattering and absorption of light by irregular particles with general (scalar or tensorial) optical (electric and magnetic) properties, through an extension of the discrete dipole approximation. R. Alcaraz de la Osa, P. Albella, J. M. Saiz, F. González, and F. Moreno, Extended discrete dipole approximation and its application to bianisotropic media", Opt. Express, Vol. 18, Issue 23, pp. 23865-23871 (2010). See also home page
Mackowski D. Mackowski DDA and T-matrix Fortran DDA merged with T-matrix. Allows analytical orientation averaging.
MarCodes V. A. Markel discrete dipole approximation Fortran Markel's Coupled Dipole Equation Solvers) solve light scattering by an arbitrary cluster of point dipoles (monomers) using the conjugate gradient method (iterative) and the LU expension method (direct method).
OpenDDA James Mc Donald discrete dipole approximation C Program for the Discrete Dipole Approximation http://www.opendda.org/
CDA Matthew David McMahon discrete dipole approximation Matlab Effects of geometrical order on the linear and nonlinear optical properties of metal nanoparticles. Ph.D. Thesis, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 2006 PDF
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