Modeling Electromagnetic Waves and Periodic Structures

Walter Frei | January 17, 2014

We often want to model an electromagnetic wave (light, microwaves) incident upon periodic structures, such as diffraction gratings, metamaterials, or frequency selective surfaces. This can be done using the RF or Wave Optics modules from the COMSOL product suite. Both modules provide Floquet periodic boundary conditions and periodic ports and compute the reflected and transmitted diffraction orders as a function of incident angles and wavelength. This blog post introduces the concepts behind this type of analysis and walks through the […]

Walter Frei | December 23, 2013

In our previous blog entry, we introduced the Fully Coupled and the Segregated algorithms used for solving steady-state multiphysics problems in COMSOL. Here, we will examine techniques for accelerating the convergence of these two methods.

Daniel Smith | December 11, 2013

Microwave plasmas, or wave-heated discharges, find applications in many industrial areas such as semiconductor processing, surface treatment, and the abatement of hazardous gases. This blog post describes the theoretical basis of the Microwave Plasma interface available in the Plasma Module.


Walter Frei | December 3, 2013

As we saw in “Load Ramping of Nonlinear Problems“, we can use the continuation method to ramp the loads on a problem up from an unloaded case where we know the solution. This algorithm was also useful for understanding what happens near a failure load. However, load ramping will not work in all cases, or may be inefficient. In this posting, we introduce the idea of ramping the nonlinearities in the problem to improve convergence.

Walter Frei | November 19, 2013

Here, we begin an overview of the algorithms used for solving nonlinear static finite element problems. This information is presented in the context of a very simple 1D finite element problem, and builds upon our previous entry on Solving Linear Static Finite Element Models.

Walter Frei | November 4, 2013

In a previous blog entry, we introduced meshing considerations for linear static problems. One of the key concepts there was the idea of mesh convergence — as you refine the mesh, the solution will become more accurate. In this post, we will delve deeper into how to choose an appropriate mesh to start your mesh convergence studies for linear static finite element problems.

Walter Frei | December 16, 2013

Here we introduce the two classes of algorithms used to solve multiphysics finite element problems in COMSOL Multiphysics. So far, we’ve learned how to mesh and solve linear and nonlinear single physics finite element problems, but have not yet considered what happens when there are multiple different interdependent physics being solved within the same domain.

Walter Frei | December 10, 2013

As part of our solver blog series we have discussed solving nonlinear static finite element problems, load ramping for improving convergence of nonlinear problems, and nonlinearity ramping for improving convergence of nonlinear problems. We have also introduced meshing considerations for linear static problems, as well as how to identify singularities and what to do about them when meshing. Building on these topics, we will now address how to prepare your mesh for efficiently solving nonlinear finite element problems.

Walter Frei | November 22, 2013

As we saw previously in the blog entry on Solving Nonlinear Static Finite Element Problems, not all nonlinear problems will be solvable via the damped Newton-Raphson method. In particular, choosing an improper initial condition or setting up a problem without a solution will simply cause the nonlinear solver to continue iterating without converging. Here we introduce a more robust approach to solving nonlinear problems.

Walter Frei | November 11, 2013

In this blog post we introduce the two classes of algorithms that are used in COMSOL to solve systems of linear equations that arise when solving any finite element problem. This information is relevant both for understanding the inner workings of the solver and for understanding how memory requirements grow with problem size.

Walter Frei | October 29, 2013

In our previous post on Meshing Considerations for Linear Static Problems, we found that, in the limit of mesh refinement, the solution to the finite element model would converge toward the true solution. We also saw that adaptive mesh refinement could be used to generate a mesh that would have smaller elements in regions where the error was higher, rather than simply using smaller elements everywhere in the model. In this post, we will examine a couple of common pitfalls […]

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