The Material Explorer window can be opened from the Check menu in the simulation toolbar.
This tool allows you to plot material data and the broadband material fits used in the
This is important to ensure that the simulated materials closely match the material data
for sampled materials so that the simulation results will be accurate.
Each time you start using a new material or a new source wavelength range, you should
check material fits in the Material Explorer before running a simulation.
By default, the list of materials under the Material drop down menu shows only the materials
that are being used in the simulation, and you need to click on “Show all materials…”
to see the full list of materials from the material database.
If there are no materials used, then the full list of materials in the Material Database
The Axis setting allows you to choose which axis to plot the material data for diagonally
It’s important to note that the material explorer only plots the material data prior
to applying any grid attributes which might further modify the material data, and it does
not plot material data for material models implemented by material plugins.
Grid attributes and material plugins will be introduced in the Advanced Capabilities
unit later on in this section.
Under the View settings box for 3D material models you can choose to plot the real and
imaginary parts of the refractive index or permittivity, and you can choose to plot the
data over frequency or wavelength.
For 2D material models, you can choose to plot the surface conductivity or resistivity
over frequency or wavelength.
By default, the data will be plotted over the simulation bandwidth (usually the source
wavelength or frequency range) but you can also choose to view an extended range or a
For broadband simulations, broadband material fits are generated using the Multi-coefficient
Material Model, or MCM for short.
Material fitting parameters include the fit Tolerance, and max coefficients in the Material
settings box, as well as additional settings displayed when you click on the “Show advanced”
Material fitting will be discussed in more detail in the next unit.
Clicking the “Fit and plot” button will calculate the material fit and generate the
plots in the chart area of the Material Explorer window.
The plots will show the FDTD model, and material data or theoretical model depending on whether
the material is a sampled data material or not.
The fit analysis section gives some details about the material fit including standard
and weighted RMS error and the number of coefficients used in the fit.
The material data and material fit data can be obtained from the script.
For an example see the related link below.