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pySCATMECH: A Python interface to the SCATMECH library of scattering codes



Thomas Germer


The first version of the SCATMECH polarized light scattering C++ class library released in 2000. This software provides a large number of models for Mueller matrix bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF), models for free-space scatterers, rigorous coupled wave (RCW) analysis of diffraction gratings, reflectance and transmittance of thin film coatings, and manipulation of polarimetric and optical properties. In 2004, the Modeled Integrated Scatter Tool (MIST) was developed to provide a front-end application for calculating integrated reflectance. While SCATMECH provides efficient codes for modeling, it requires experience with C++ to use, and MIST has limited functionality for many applications. As a result, we have developed a Python interface that provides an intermediate level of access to the SCATMECH library, allowing faster development of applications and test simulations. In this paper, we demonstrate the functionality and use of pySCATMECH using the example of an interference bandpass filter and calculations of scattering by roughness, particles, and volume scattering within that filter.
Proceedings Title
Reflection, Scattering, and Diffraction from Surfaces VII
Conference Dates
August 24, 2020
Conference Location
San Diego, CA


BRDF, interference, modeling, scattering, simulations


Germer, T. (2021), pySCATMECH: A Python interface to the SCATMECH library of scattering codes, Reflection, Scattering, and Diffraction from Surfaces VII, San Diego, CA, [online],, (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created March 3, 2021, Updated April 6, 2021