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Scattering and Absorption of Light by Small Particles
[Last updated 2015.11.11]
The Discrete Dipole Approximation for Scattering and Absorption of Light
by Irregular Particles
DDSCAT, a Fortran code for calculating scattering and absorption
of light by irregular particles, has been jointly developed by
Bruce T. Draine (Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University)
and Piotr J. Flatau (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD).
The current version is DDSCAT 7.3, which
supersedes previous versions. DDSCAT 7.3 can calculate scattering and
absorption by isolated particles (e.g., dust grains) but can also calculate
scattering and absorption by one- and two-dimensional arrays of "target unit
cells" that may have complex geometries
(Draine & Flatau 2008);
this has obvious applications to
photonics and studies of arrays of nanostructures.
DDSCAT 7.3 carries out near-field calculation of E very efficiently
using the methods discussed in
(Flatau & Draine 2012).
DDSCAT 7.3 is publicly available (see below), and is now considered to be
the standard version of DDSCAT.
If you choose to use it, please send email
"registering" as a user; registered
users of DDSCAT will be notified when updates to the code are made.
If you publish results obtained with DDSCAT 7.3, please cite the following references:
Draine, B.T., & Flatau, P.J. 1994, "Discrete dipole approximation for
scattering calculations", J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, 11, 1491-1499
and, if you carried out calculations for periodic structures:
Draine, B.T., & Flatau, P.J., "Discrete-dipole approximation for
periodic targets: theory and tests", J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, 25, 2593-2703 (2008)
and, if you did "nearfield" calculations using DDSCAT:
Flatau, P.J., & Draine, B.T., "Fast near-field calculations in the
discrete dipole approximation for regular rectilinear grids",
Optics Express, 20, 1247-1252 (2012)
User Guide for DDSCAT.7.3
An extensive User Guide is available: "User Guide to the Discrete
Dipole Approximation Code DDSCAT 7.3", by B.T. Draine and
Piotr J. Flatau. A pdf copy of this document
can be obtained from
and can be cited as
Draine, B.T., and Flatau, P.J. 2013, "User Guide to the Discrete
Dipole Approximation Code DDSCAT 7.3",
Downloading the DDSCAT 7.3 Code
A single distribution is provided for DDSCAT 7.3 -- by appropriate
editing of the Makefile, this distribution can be used to generate
executables using either single- or double-precision arithmetic;
either without or with MPI capability; either without or with OPENMPI
support; and either without or with the Intel MKL library.
To download, please go to
where the latest distribution of DDSCAT, CALLTARGET, DDPOSTPROCESS, and VTRCONVERT
are available, as well as up-to-date Release Notes.
VTRCONVERT provides support for visualization of the target geometry,
and DDPOSTPROCESS provides support for visualization of the electric and magnetic field
in and around the target.
N.B.: If for some reason you are unable to download DDSCAT 7.3
Additional information about using DDSCAT can be found at the
Downloading executables for Windows
Pre-compiled DDSCAT binaries for Windows Vista and Windows 7
may be available at
together with some information regarding using the binaries under
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