Scientific Results

Disordered photonics

Year: 2013

Authors: Wiersma D.

Autors Affiliation: European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy, University of Florence, Via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Firenze), Italy; INO-CNR Largo Fermi 6, 50125 Firenze, Italy

Abstract: What do lotus flowers have in common with human bones, liquid crystals with colloidal suspensions, and white beetles with the beautiful stones of the Taj Mahal? The answer is they all feature disordered structures that strongly scatter light, in which light waves entering the material are scattered several times before exiting in random directions. These randomly distributed rays interfere with each other, leading to interesting, and sometimes unexpected, physical phenomena. This Review describes the physics behind the optical properties of disordered structures and how knowledge of multiple light scattering can be used to develop new applications. The field of disordered photonics has grown immensely over the past decade, ranging from investigations into fundamental topics such as Anderson localization and other transport phenomena, to applications in imaging, random lasing and solar energy.

Journal/Review: NATURE PHOTONICS

Volume: 7 (3)      Pages from: 188  to: 196

KeyWords: Anderson localization; Colloidal suspensions; Disordered structures; Multiple light scattering; New applications; Physical phenomena; Randomly distributed; Transport phenomena, Liquid crystals; Optical properties; Suspensions (fluids)
DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2013.29

Citations: 334
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English