By AbderRahman N Sobh1, Sarah White1, Jeremy Smith1, Nahil Sobh1, Prashant K Jain1

1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Combines the Discrete Dipole Scattering (DDSCAT) tool with the DDAConvert tool for a single workflow for custom shapes.

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Version 2.1b - published on 01 Mar 2019

doi:10.21981/7DWF-7S84 cite this

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Video Tutorial for nanoDDSCAT+


This tool creates a single workflow for creating and processing a custom shape in Draine and Flatau's DDSCAT (v7.3). The workflow is divided into three stages:

1.) The first stage of the process is to use an open source 3D graphics and animation software, Blender, in order to prepare object(s) and set incident light directions for the simulation. Blender has been modified for nanoDDSCAT+ in order to provide extra features/controls related to guaranteeing accuracy of the simulation's preparation such as: "Center Scene at Origin", "Rotate Lights", "Lock/Unlock Incident Light", and "Export .obj for DDAConvert".

2.) The second stage of the process is to run the DDAConvert tool within the same container. The tool automatically recognizes the latest file the user has exported from Blender for processing within their same session (when the option is selected). The DDAConvert tool populates the 3D system created in Blender with a point-in-polyhedron algorithm so that the system can be represented discretely by a number of points. Making use of the "Center Scene at Origin" feature in Blender is especially necessary for guaranteeing accuracy at this stage due to the fact that object systems being Input to DDAConvert are automatically centered before the algorithm is run. The point population created within the defined shapes is determined by a single user-input parameter defining the "Longest Dimension Span" of the System in points. This parameter is defined more specifically as the distance between the two farthest edges of the drawn system. Using too small of a value for the "Longest Dimension Span" will result in incomplete population of shapes.

3.) The third stage of the process is to run the nanoDDSCAT tool, powered by Draine and Flatau's DDSCAT (v7.3). There is an option within the selectable shape types to import the most recently designated shape from DDAConvert for the current simulation.

Users are also given full capability of saving their files at any stage of the workflow to their Nanohub storage space. These files can then be downloaded to a local desktop via the "Upload/Download" button provided at the end of the "DDA+ Tools" menu. Additionally, locally saved files can also be uploaded for use within this tool.


What's New since Version 2.0:

- Vector plot renderings of E-Field, B-Field, Poynting Vector results added

- Faster and more reliable volume-to-discrete conversions (DDAConvert)

- Support for prototype "Supertool" workflow working alongside the Functionalization Workbench Tool (See Supporting Docs for more info)

- Various bug and accuracy fixes throughout the workflow

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Blender 3D Editor


John Feser; AbderRahman N Sobh (2015), "DDSCAT Convert: A Target Generation Tool," (DOI: 10.4231/D3NG4GS8B).

nanoDDSCAT Tool

Prashant K Jain; Nahil Sobh; Jeremy Smith; AbderRahman N Sobh; Sarah White; Jacob Faucheaux; John Feser (2015), "nanoDDSCAT," (DOI: 10.4231/D32V2CB3M).


Sponsored by

NanoBio Node, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana


Google Code page for DDSCAT

  • "Discrete Dipole Approximation." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Oct. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. (link)
  • Draine, Bruce T., and Piotr J. Flatau. "Discrete-dipole Approximation for Scattering Calculations." Journal of the Optical Society of America A 11.4 (1994): 1491. Web. (pdf)
  • Draine, Bruce T., and Piotr J. Flatau. User Guide for the Discrete Dipole Approximation Code DDSCAT 7.2. N.p., 2012. Web. (pdf)
  • Jain, Prashant K., Kyeong Seok Lee, Ivan H. El-Sayed, and Mostafa A. El-Sayed. "Calculated Absorption and Scattering Properties of Gold Nanoparticles of Different Size, Shape, and Composition: Applications in Biological Imaging and Biomedicine." The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 110.14 (2006): 7238-248. Web. (pdf)
  • Jain, Prashant K. "Plasmons in assembled metal nanostructures: radiative and nonradiative properties, near-field coupling and its universal scaling behavior." (2008). (pdf)


Copper plasmonics and catalysis: role of electron–phonon interactions in dephasing localized surface plasmons

Qi-C. Sun,   Yuchen Ding,   Samuel M. Goodman,   Hans H. Funke and   Prashant Nagpal

Nanoscale, 2014,6, 12450-12457
DOI: 10.1039/C4NR04719B
Received 16 Aug 2014, Accepted 15 Sep 2014
First published online 17 Sep 2014



Regioselective Plasmonic Coupling in Metamolecular Analogs of Benzene Derivatives

Aiqin Fang , Sarah White , Prashant K. Jain *, and Francis P. Zamborini *

† Department of Chemistry, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, United States
‡ Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana−Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, United States
Nano Lett., 2015, 15 (1), pp 542–548
DOI: 10.1021/nl503960s
Publication Date (Web): December 16, 2014
Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society


One-to-One Correlation between Structure and Optical Response in a Heterogeneous Distribution of Plasmonic Constructs

Aiqin Fang, Sarah L. White, Rafael A. Masitas, Francis P. Zamborini*, and Prashant K. Jain*

† Department of Chemistry, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, United States
‡ Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana−Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, United States
J. Phys. Chem. C, Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b09292
Publication Date (Web): September 28, 2015
Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Draine, B.T., & Flatau, P.J. 1994, "Discrete dipole approximation for scattering calculations", J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, 11, 1491-1499

    Draine, B.T., & Flatau, P.J. 2012, "User Guide to the Discrete Dipole Approximation Code DDSCAT 7.2"

    Draine, B.T., & Flatau, P.J., "Discrete-dipole approximation for periodic targets: theory and tests", J. Opt. Soc. Am. A, 25, 2593-2703 (2008)

    Flatau, P.J., & Draine, B.T., "Fast near-field calculations in the discrete dipole approximation for regular rectilinear grids", Optics Express, 20, 1247-1252 (2012)

  • AbderRahman N Sobh, Sarah White, Jeremy Smith, Nahil Sobh, Prashant K Jain (2019), "nanoDDSCAT+," (DOI: 10.21981/7DWF-7S84).

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