KONWIHR Project: LightWave


LightWave: High Performance Computing of Optical Wave

Project summary

Optical technologies are one of the key technologies of the 21st century. The appli- cations of these technologies range from medicine to information and communica- tion technology and from environmental technology to manufacturing technology. The progress in these technologies often depends on the possibility to predict the behavior of light by simulations of optical waves. However Maxwell equations are very difficult to solve for such kind of applications. Since many wavelengt- hs of light have to be resolved by a fine discretization mesh, high performance computing is very important for research in advanced optical technologies.

One aim of the project is to adapt a parallel code for solving Maxwell's equations to current high performance architecture of high performance computers in Er- langen and Munich. This parallel code is based on the library StaggExPDE. For obtaining flexible application and high efficiency, this library utilizes expression templates, structured grids and MPI and OpenMP parallelization. The task of the research project is to develop new software techniques for obtaining optimal efficiency on hybrid HPC systems with multicore architecture using expression templates.

The second aim of the project is to apply the library StaggExPDE and its Maxwell solver for two important applications of high performance computing in Erlangen. One of them is thin film solar cell simulations. Since thin film technology is the future technology of solar cells, research in this direction is of general public interest.

Another application is lithography simulation. Since masks for producing new chips consist of features of size of the wavelength and below, numerical simulati- ons using high performance computers are extremely important for lithography simulations.

KONWIHR funding

  • KONWIHR funding of LightWave: 4/2009 - 3/2012


  • Dr. Andreas Erdmann, Lehrstuhl für Elektronische Bauelemente/Graduate School of Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT), Uni-Erlangen
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Pflaum, Professor für Numerische Simulation auf Hochleistungsrechnern, Uni-Erlangen

Project staff:

  • Dipl.-Math. Christine Jandl, Graduate School of Advanced Optical Technologies, Uni-Erlangen
  • Kai Hertel, Graduate School of Advanced Optical Technologies, Uni-Erlangen

Publications and presentations

  • C. Jandl, K. Hertel, C. Pflaum, H. Stiebig: Simulation of silicon thin-film solar cells for oblique incident waves, Proceedings of SPIE, 8065 (2011).
  • K. Hertel, C. Pflaum: Position paper on the simulation of high-frequency optical waves, Procedia Computer Science, 1:1 (2010) 1525-1528. External link: DOI: 10.1016/j.procs.2010.04.171
  • C. Jandl, W. Dewald, U. Paetzold, A. Gordijn, C. Pflaum, H. Stiebig: Simulation of tandem thin-film silicon solar cells, Proceedings of SPIE, 7725:772516 (2010). External link: DOI: 10.1117/12.854366
  • C. Jandl, W. Dewald, C. Pflaum, H. Stiebig: Simulation of microcrystalline thin-film silicon solar cells with integrated afm scans, Proceedings of 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, (2010), pp. 3154-3157.
  • C. Pflaum, Z. Rahimi: An iterative solver for the Finite-Difference Frequency Domain (FDFD) method for the simulation of materials with negative permittivity, Numerical Linear Algebra with Applications, to appear (2010).
  • Z. Rahimi, A. Erdmann, P. Evanschitzky, C. Pflaum: Rigorous EMF simulation of absorber shape variations and their impact on lithographic processes, Proceedings of EMLC, 7545:1 (2010). External link: DOI: 10.1117/12.863595
  • Z. Rahimi, A. Erdmann, C. Pflaum: Characterization of the scattering effect of complex mask geometries with surface roughness, Proceedings of SPIE, 7725:772516 (2010). External link: DOI: 10.1117/12.853726
  • C. Pflaum, Z. Rahimi: Automatic parallelisation of staggered grid codes with expression templates, International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering, 4 (2009) 306-313. External link: DOI: 10.1504/IJCSE.2009.029166
  • C. Pflaum, C. Haase, H. Stiebig, C. Jandl: Simulation of light in-coupling at oblique angles in thin-film silicon solar cells, Proceedings of the 24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, (2009). External link: DOI: 10.4229/24thEUPVSEC2009-3BO.9.6