Rapid prototyping and high-precision simulations reduce the reliance on costly and time-consuming experimental prototypes and lead to faster evaluation of design concepts. The combination of experimental results and theoretical calculations is helpful to accurately understand the associated fundamental properties:
1) Our group uses FDTD solutions on various topics, from basic photonics to photoelectronic applications in water splitting and SERS. For example, we have studied the surface plasmon resonance properties of ordered nanoparticle arrays and the simulation results (the electric field around the nanoparticle and the normalized scattering and absorption cross section) agree very well with experiment (ACS Nano 2015, 9, 4583).
2) We also use COMSOL Multiphysics to study complex systems combining multiple physics. For example, we simulated the E-field distributions in Al foils at the very early and steady-state stages of anodization to shed light on the formation mechanism of the binodic-anodic alumina template with pores (Nature Nanotechnology 2017, 12, 244).
3) First-principles calculations are used to study the electronic and photonic properties of semiconductor nanostructures. For example, first-principles calculations using simple Supercell-Slab (SS) models to study ZnO-NW (1010) and (0001) surfaces ("Spatial distribution of neutral oxygen vacancies on ZnO nanowire surfaces: An investigation combining confocal microscopy and first-principles calculations ", J. Appl. Phys. 2013, 114, 034901. This work was the most cited article among over 4000 JAP articles published in 2013.