The Rayleigh scattering has to be largely suppressed in high-<i>Q</i> whispering-gallery modes in microspheres because of restrictions imposed on scattering angles by cavity confinement. Earlier estimates of the fundamental limit for the quality factor in fused-silica microspheres are revisited, and Q≃10<sup>12</sup> is predicted in few-millimeter-size fused-silica spheres, if the surface hydration problem is ovecome. Particular effects of surface scattering losses are analyzed, and the manifestation of scattering in the form of intermode coupling is calculated. The predominant effect of counterpropagating mode coupling (intracavity backscattering) is analyzed in the presence of a mode-matched traveling-wave coupler. As much as 100% resonance reflection regime is shown to be feasible.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
Michael L. Gorodetsky, Andrew D. Pryamikov, and Vladimir S. Ilchenko, "Rayleigh scattering in high-Q microspheres," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 17, 1051-1057 (2000)