Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computational Analysis and Modeling

First Advisor

Weizhong Dai


Nanopulses are ultra-wide-band (UWB) electromagnetic pulses with pulse duration of only a few nanoseconds and electric field amplitudes greater than 105 V/m. They have been widely used in the development of new technologies in the field of medicine. Therefore, the study of the nanopulse bioeffects is important to ensure the appropriate application with nanopulses in biomedical and biotechnological settings. The conventional finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method for solving Maxwell's equations has been proven to be an effective method to solve the problems related to electromagnetism. However, its application is restricted by the Courant, Friedrichs, and Lewy (CFL) stability condition that confines the time increment and mesh size in the computation in order to prevent the solution from being divergent.

This dissertation develops a new finite difference scheme coupled with the Cole-Cole expression for dielectric coefficients of biological tissues to simulate the electromagnetic fields inside biological tissues when exposed to nanopulses. The scheme is formulated based on the Yee's cell and alternating direction implicit (ADI) technique. The basic idea behind the ADI technique is to break up every time step into two half-time steps. At the first half-step, the finite difference operator on the right-hand side of the Maxwell's equation is implicit only along one coordinate axis direction. At the second half-step, the finite difference operator on the right-hand side of the Maxwell's equation is implicit only along the other coordinate axis direction. As such, only tridiagonal linear systems are solved. In this numerical method, the Cole-Cole expression is approximated by a second-order Taylor series based on the z-transform method. In addition, the perfectly matched layer is employed for the boundary condition, and the total/scattered field technique is employed to generate the plane wave in order to prevent the wave reflection.

The scheme is tested by numerical examples with two different biological tissues. For the purpose of comparison, both the proposed ADI-FDTD scheme and the conventional FDTD scheme are employed to the numerical examples. The results show that the proposed ADI-FDTD scheme breaks through the CFL stability condition and provides a stable solution with a larger time step, where the conventional FDTD scheme fails. Results also indicate that the computational time can be reduced with a larger time step.