Phase field method to optimize dielectric devices for electromagnetic wave propagation

Akihiro Takezawa*, Mitsuru Kitamura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


We discuss a phase field method for shape optimization in the context of electromagnetic wave propagation. The proposed method has the same functional capabilities as the level set method for shape optimization. The first advantage of the method is the simplicity of computation, since extra operations such as re-initialization of functions are not required. The second is compatibility with the topology optimization method due to the similar domain representation and the sensitivity analysis. Structural shapes are represented by the phase field function defined in the design domain, and this function is optimized by solving a time-dependent reaction diffusion equation. The artificial double-well potential function used in the equation is derived from sensitivity analysis. We study four types of 2D or 2.5D (axisymmetric) optimization problems. Two are the classical problems of photonic crystal design based on the Bloch theory and photonic crystal wave guide design, and two are the recent topics of designing dielectric left-handed metamaterials and dielectric ring resonators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-240
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue numberPA
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Electromagnetic system
  • Level set
  • Phase field
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Shape optimization
  • Topology optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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