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Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Jun 26;102(25):253903. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Disorder-induced coherent scattering in slow-light photonic crystal waveguides.

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Department of Physics, Queen's University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada.

Abstract

Light transmission measurements and frequency-delay reflectometry maps for GaAs photonic crystal membranes are presented and analyzed, showing the transition from propagation with a well-defined group velocity to a regime completely dominated by disorder-induced coherent scattering. Employing a self-consistent optical scattering theory, with only statistical functions to describe the structural disorder, we obtain excellent agreement with the experiments using no fitting parameters. Our experiments and theory together provide clear physical insight into naturally occurring light localization and multiple coherent-scattering phenomena in slow-light waveguides.

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