Optics of surface disordered systems
A random walk through rough surface scattering phenomena
Department of Physics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7491 Trondheim, Norway
a e-mail: Ingve.Simonsen@ntnu.no
Revised: 4 May 2010
Published online: 14 June 2010
No surface is perfectly flat at every length scale. However, all natural and man-made surfaces show some degree of roughness. Therefore, it is imperative to know how surface disorder may affect physical process at, or in the immediate vicinity, of the surface. In this review, we focus on the long-standing problem of electromagnetic wave scattering from randomly rough surfaces. This topic has implications and practical applications in fields of science and engineering ranging from observational astronomy to the electronic and medical industry. How randomly rough surfaces can be described statistically is outlined, and we introduce the theoretical and computational methods most frequently used in the study of light scattering from randomly rough metal or dielectric surfaces. A large part of the review is devoted to the description and the discussion of the physical origin behind various multiple scattering phenomena that can exist when light interacts with a random surface. Some of the addressed phenomena are; the enhanced backscattering and satellite peak phenomena; forward scattering (specular peak) enhancement; coherent effects in the angular intensity correlation functions and the second harmonic generated light (nonlinear effect).
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2010