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Ansys Lumerical FDTD
Getting Started (Self-paced Learning Available)

Course Overview

This introductory FDTD course is primarily intended for beginner to intermediate users, with the goal of giving users an understanding of the solver physics, simulation workflow and data analysis techniques. Upon completion of all course sections and exercises, you will have the ability to independently setup a simulation and select appropriate settings for common applications. Additionally, the courses provide references to useful Knowledge Base articles for each topic, making it easy for you to find advanced simulation methodologies and application examples that are beyond the scope of the course curriculum.


  • Basic understanding of optics and Maxwell's equations.

Teaching Method

Lectures and demos. A major emphasis is placed on balanced mix of basic theoretical knowledge and helpful practical examples that will allow new users to quickly become proficient and productive with FDTD.

Learning Outcome

Following completion of this course, you will be able to;

  • Understand how FDTD algorithm works in time domain and how it obtains frequency domain results.
  • Define and fine tune material properties.
  • Add and set up FDTD solver region.
  • Select suitable optical source and set it up for various simulation goals.
  • Add one or more monitors and record data of your interest.
  • Analyze and plot simulation results.

 Available Dates

Learning Options

Training materials for this course are available with an Ansys Learning Hub Subscription. If there is no active public schedule available, private training can be arranged. 

Self-paced Learning 

Complete a class on your own schedule at your own pace. Scope is equivalent to Instructor led classes. Includes video lecture, workshops and input files. All our Self-Paced video courses are only available with an Ansys Learning Hub subscription.


This is a 2-day classroom course covering both lectures and workshops. For virtual training, this course is covered over 3 x 2-hour sessions lectures only.

Virtual Classroom Session 1
Module 1: My first simulation
  • Introduction to FDTD 
  • Setting up the simulation 
  • Running the simulation
  • Analyzing results
  • Application examples

Module 2: FDTD algorithm

  • The FDTD method
  • Getting frequency domain results

Module 3: Material properties

  • Introduction
  • Material database
  • Material explorer
  • Modelling dispersive materials
  • Advanced capabilities

Virtual Classroom Session 2

Module 4: FDTD solver regions

  • Introduction
  • Solver region settings
  • Setup tips
  • Solver region results

Module 5: Optical sources

  • Common features
  • Plane wave source
  • TFSF source
  • Beam source
  • Mode source
  • Dipole source
  • Import source

Virtual Classroom Session 3

Module 6: Monitors

  • Introduction and common settings
  • Index monitor
  • Time monitor
  • Movie monitor
  • Frequency-domain field monitor
  • Mode expansion monitor
  • Ports

Module 7: Analyzing simulation results

  • Analysis mode and design flow
  • Data types
  • Results manager
  • Analysis groups
  • Plotting and exporting data
  • Result accuracy