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[Last updated 2015.11.11] Scattering and Absorption of Light by Small Particles

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 to <draine@astro.princeton.edu> "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 (pdf)

    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) (pdf)

    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) (pdf)

    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 http://arXiv/1305.6497 and can be cited as

    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 http://www.ddscat.org, 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 from code.google.com, please contact <draine@astro.princeton.edu>

    DDSCAT Wikidot

    Additional information about using DDSCAT can be found at the DDSCAT Wikidot.

    Downloading executables for Windows

    Pre-compiled DDSCAT binaries for Windows Vista and Windows 7 may be available at http://www.ddscat.org, together with some information regarding using the binaries under Windows.

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