Van de Hulst's localization principle relates the principal mode number to the external beam position that maximizes energy coupling to a spherical cavity mode. Our experiments in lasing microdroplets verify localization but only for low- Q modes, when the cavity may be considered to be a nearly perfect homogeneous sphere. The principle fails in the perturbation-dominated high- Q limit. Surprisingly, near-surface resonances are still efficiently excited in these cases but require impact parameters slightly smaller than the sphere radius. Numerical modeling suggests that this new input channel depends on surface scattering.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(140.3410) Lasers and laser optics : Laser resonators
(140.4780) Lasers and laser optics : Optical resonators
(290.0290) Scattering : Scattering
(290.1090) Scattering : Aerosol and cloud effects
(290.4020) Scattering : Mie theory
H.-B. Lin, J. D. Eversole, A. J. Campillo, and J. P. Barton, "Excitation localization principle for spherical microcavities," Opt. Lett. 23, 1921-1923 (1998)