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Optical phase change at the interface between mica and thin silver film

Briscoe, Wuge H. and Horn, Roger G. 2004, Optical phase change at the interface between mica and thin silver film, Journal of optics A : pure and applied optics, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 112-116, doi: 10.1088/1464-4258/6/1/020.

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Title Optical phase change at the interface between mica and thin silver film
Author(s) Briscoe, Wuge H.
Horn, Roger G.
Journal name Journal of optics A : pure and applied optics
Volume number 6
Issue number 1
Start page 112
End page 116
Total pages 5
Publisher Institute of Physics Publishing
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2004-01
ISSN 2040-8978
Keyword(s) dielectric-metal interface
phase change on reflection
thin metal film
Summary We describe a simple experiment which allows unequivocal determination of optical phase change upon reflection of light at the mica-silver interface. While the physical origin of such a phase change at the dielectric-metal interface is well understood to lie in absorption of electromagnetic energy by the metal, inconsistency and ambiguity has persisted as to what its sign and magnitude should be in the field of thin film optics. Most commonly, it has been assigned to be negative for mathematical convenience or just arbitrarily. Our finding shows that with the convention exp(-iωt) for time dependence of the electromagnetic wave, the phase change at the interface between mica and the thin silver film is necessarily positive and its magnitude falls between π and 3π/2 for silver thicknesses down to nanometres. This gives a physically reasonable correspondence to an increased equivalent thickness of the dielectric material, and it clarifies the assignment of interference orders in the harmonic series in a spectrum.
Language eng
DOI 10.1088/1464-4258/6/1/020
Field of Research 029999 Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Institute of Physics Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30041425

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