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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 May 21;86(21):4815-8.

Anomalous coherent backscattering of light from opal photonic crystals.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


We studied coherent backscattering (CBS) of light from opal photonic crystals with incomplete band gaps. We observed a dramatic broadening of the CBS cone for incident angles close to the Bragg condition in the crystals. We modify the conventional CBS theory to incorporate Bragg attenuation resulting from the photonic band structure. By fitting the CBS data with the modified theory, we extract both the disorder-induced light mean-free path and the Bragg attenuation length of the inherent opal photonic crystal.

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