Effective permittivities for second-order accurate FDTD equations at dielectric interfaces

Kyu Pyung Hwang, Andreas C. Cangellaris

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


In Yee's finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) scheme, effective permittivities are often used to account for offsets of dielectric interfaces from grid nodes. The specific values of these effective permittivities must be chosen in such a way that the second-order accuracy of the scheme is preserved. It is shown in this letter that, contrary to more elaborate techniques proposed recently for the development of these effective permittivities, a rigorous application of the integral forms of Maxwell's curl equations on the Yee's lattice leads to the desired values in a straightforward fashion. Numerical experiments in a two-dimensional (2-D) cavity are used to verify that the calculated effective permittivities preserve the second-order accuracy of the FDTD scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-160
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2001


  • Convergence of numerical methods
  • FDTD methods
  • Numerical analysis
  • Permittivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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