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We contribute to the study of the optical properties of high-permittivity nanostructures deposited on surfaces. We present what we believe is anew computational technique derived from the coupled-dipole approximation (CDA), which can accommodate high-permittivity scatterers. The discretized CDA equations are reformulated by use of the sampling theory to overcome different sources of inaccuracy that arise for high-permittivity scatterers. We first give the nonretarded filtered surface Green's tensor used in the new scheme. We then assess the accuracy of the technique by comparing it with the standard CDA approach and show that it can accurately handle scatterers with a large permittivity, (C) 2001 Optical Society of America.