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Documentation and Q&A

Currently, openEMS’s documentation is still in the process of migrating from the legacy Wiki to the new GitHub repository. Thus, many documents are currently missing here. For now, please visit:

If you have any question on the use of openEMS, you can post a thread at GitHub Discussion:


If you’re new to FDTD, the following university-level textbooks provide a good general introduction to the FDTD method:

  • John B. Schneider (2010). Understanding the FDTD Method. available online. http://eecs.wsu.edu/~schneidj/ufdtd/index.php

  • Allen Taflove; Susan C. Hagness (2005). Computational Electrodynamics: The Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method, 3rd ed. Artech House Publishers. ISBN 978-1-58053-832-9.

  • Karl S. Kunz; Raymond J. Luebbers (1993). The Finite Difference Time Domain Method for Electromagnetics. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-8657-2.

  • Wenhua Yu; Raj Mittra; Tao Su; Yongjun Liu; Xiaoling Yang (2006). Parallel Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method. Artech House Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59693-085-8.


Please refer to the following publications on the design of openEMS:

    1. Liebig, A. Rennings, S. Held, and D. Erni, “openEMS - A free and open source equivalent-circuit (EC) FDTD simulation platform supporting cylindrical coordinates suitable for the analysis of traveling wave MRI applications,” International Journal of Numerical Modelling: Electronic Networks, Devices and Fields, online, DOI: 10.1002/jnm.1875, Dec. 10, 2012. pdf (https://www.ate.uni-due.de/data/dokumente_2012/JNM_2012_Liebig_Online.pdf)

    1. Liebig, A. Rennings, and D. Erni, “openEMS - A free and open source FDTD software package supporting Cartesian and cylindrical coordinates ideally suited for MRI applications,” Magnetic Resonance in Physics, Biology and Medicine (MAGMA), vol. 25, no. suppl 1, pp. 627-628, Oct. 2012, special supplement on Europ. Soc. for Magn. Reson. in Med. and Biol. 29th Annual Sci. Meeting (ESMRMB 2012), Oct. 4-6, Lisbon, Portugal, paper 857 (demo and poster), 2012. pdf (https://www.ate.uni-due.de/data/dokumente_2012/ESMRMB_2012_Liebig.pdf)

    1. Liebig, A. Rennings, and D. Erni, “openEMS – A Free and Open Source Cartesian and Cylindrical EC-FDTD Simulation Platform Supporting Multi-Pole Drude/Lorentz Dispersive Material Models for Plasmonic Nanostructures,” 8th Workshop on Numerical Methods for Optical Nano Structures (organized by OptETH and the Fred Tischer Lecture Series), July 2-4, ETH Zurich, Session on Metamaterials, Periodic Structures, and Numerical Methods I, Switzerland, 2012. pdf (https://www.ate.uni-due.de/data/dokumente_2012/ETH_Workshop_2012_Liebig.pdf)