Abstract

An efficient, accurate, and automated vectorial finite-element method is described to characterize arbitrarily shaped optical devices having loss or gain properties. The method can be easily implemented inside the pde 2 d software environment, where an interactive session allows the user to specify the problem in a easy-to-use format. For the method to be validated, modal dispersion characteristics of high loss metal-coated optical fibers that have recently been used in applications in scanning near-field optical microscopy are presented and compared with results obtained with two vectorial approaches, i.e., the field expansion and the multiple-multipole methods. These results clearly illustrate the flexibility, accuracy, and ease of implementation of the method.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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