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21 April 2016 Quantum theory for the nanoscale propagation of light through stacked thin film layers
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Abstract
Stacked multi-layer films have a range of well-known applications as optical elements. The various types of theory commonly used to describe optical propagation through such structures rarely take account of the quantum nature of light, though phenomena such as Anderson localization can be proven to occur under suitable conditions. In recent and ongoing work based on quantum electrodynamics, it has been shown possible to rigorously reformulate, in photonic terms, the fundamental mechanisms that are involved in reflection and optical transmission through stacked nanolayers. Accounting for sum-over-pathway features in the quantum mechanical description, this theory treats the sequential interactions of photons with material boundaries in terms of individual scattering events. The study entertains an arbitrary number of reflections in systems comprising two or three internally reflective surfaces. Analytical results are secured, without recourse to FTDT (finite-difference time-domain) software or any other finite-element approximations. Quantum interference effects can be readily identified. The new results, which cast the optical characteristics of such structures in terms of simple, constituent-determined properties, are illustrated by model calculations.
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Kayn A. Forbes, Mathew D. Williams, and David L. Andrews "Quantum theory for the nanoscale propagation of light through stacked thin film layers", Proc. SPIE 9884, Nanophotonics VI, 988434 (21 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2227694
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