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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 22, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 2005
  • pp: 569–573

Angular dependence of the reflectance from an isotropic polydomain medium: effect of large domain size on total reflection

Thomas G. Mayerhöfer and Jürgen Popp  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 22, Issue 3, pp. 569-573 (2005)

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We investigate the angular dependence of the reflectance from an isotropic medium consisting of optically large and anisotropic, randomly oriented domains, assuming a highly refractive, isotropic, and homogeneous incidence medium, which is presumed to have a higher refractive index than any of the domains’ principal indices of refraction. By employing average reflectance and transmittance theory, we are able to show that the onset of total reflection is considerably shifted to higher angles of incidence compared with an isotropic medium with domains that are small compared with the wavelength. The onset of total reflection for a random medium with large domains is found to be dependent only on the largest principal index of refraction of the domains, assuming that all domains have the same optical properties. Therefore the shift of the onset depends on the magnitude of the optical anisotropy of the domains. Even in the case of a small optical anisotropy, large cross-polarization terms are predicted in the vicinity of the onset of total reflection. These terms show a pronounced maximum near that onset and extend beyond it.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(260.1180) Physical optics : Crystal optics
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

Original Manuscript: July 30, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: August 18, 2004
Published: March 1, 2005

Thomas G. Mayerhöfer and Jürgen Popp, "Angular dependence of the reflectance from an isotropic polydomain medium: effect of large domain size on total reflection," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 569-573 (2005)

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  1. T. G. Mayerhöfer, J. Musfeldt, “Angular dependence of the reflectance from an isotropic medium: surprising results regarding Brewster’s angle,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 185–189 (2005). [CrossRef]
  2. T. G. Mayerhöfer, “Modelling IR spectra of single-phase polycrystalline materials with random orientation in the large crystallites limit—extension to arbitrary crystal symmetry,” J. Opt. A Pure Appl. Opt. 4, 540–548 (2002). [CrossRef]
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  4. T. G. Mayerhöfer, “Modelling IR-spectra of single-phase polycrystalline materials with random orientation—a unified approach,” Vib. Spectrosc. 35, 67–76 (2004). [CrossRef]
  5. We assumed optically uniaxial ordered domains in this study.
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  10. The refractive index of the incidence medium is assumed to be clearly higher than each of the principal refractive indices of one single domain of the polydomain medium.
  11. G. L. Doll, J. Steinbeck, G. Dresselhaus, M. S. Dresselhaus, A. J. Strauss, H. J. Zeiger, “Infrared anisotropy of La1.85Sr0.15CuO4-y,” Phys. Rev. B 36, 8884–8887 (1987). [CrossRef]
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  14. T. G. Mayerhöfer, “New method of modeling infrared spectra of non-cubic single-phase polycrystalline materials with random orientation,” Appl. Spectrosc. 56, 1194–1205 (2002). [CrossRef]
  15. This can be easily verified by a calculation of the reflectance from a medium with cubic crystal symmetry by use of n=nord,2,n=nextraord,2,and ninc=3.
  16. We suggest naming the corresponding effect suppressed total reflection.

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