We employ Monte Carlo techniques based on the reduced Rayleigh equations to study an enhanced specular peak that appears in the light scattered from weakly rough metal surfaces. This peak is not associated with the specular reflection but instead appears, with finite angular width, at the specular angle of the mean diffusely scattered intensity. As is the case with backscattering enhancement, the specular peak arises from the interference of contributions of multiple-scattering processes related to surface plasmon polariton excitation. We demonstrate that the specular peak is seen clearly for surface roughness that has a conventional Gaussian power spectrum. Further, we show that the peak appears more distinctly for roughness whose power spectrum has a new rectangular form, which is proposed here with the intent of better isolation of the scattering processes essential to the specular peak. Finally, for a pair of rough surfaces that have appropriately correlated surface roughness, it is found that the cross correlation of scattered amplitudes presents a well-isolated specular peak, which directly demonstrates the constructive interference that produces the effect.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: March 26, 2003
Revised Manuscript: August 4, 2003
Manuscript Accepted: August 7, 2003
Published: December 1, 2003
K. A. O’Donnell and E. R. Méndez, "Enhanced specular peaks in diffuse light scattering from weakly rough metal surfaces," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 2338-2346 (2003)