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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2009 Aug;80(2 Pt 1):021704. Epub 2009 Aug 31.

Propagation of an electromagnetic wave in an absorbing anisotropic medium and infrared transmission of liquid crystals: comparison with experiments.

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Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.


The theory of the absorbance of a semi-infinite medium characterized by a second-rank dielectric tensor for the entire electromagnetic spectrum, as given by Scaife and Vij [J. Chem. Phys. 122, 174901 (2005)], is extended to include molecules of prolate spheriodal shape with longitudinal and transverse polarizabilities and to cover the case of elliptically polarized incident radiation. The theory is applied to the infrared transmission experiments of biaxial liquid crystals. It is found that the formula for the dependence on frequency and on angle of polarization of the absorbance A(omega,theta)= -log(10)[10(A(omega,0)) cos(2) theta + (10(-A(omega,pi/2)) sin(2) theta)] is unaffected by the anisotropy of the molecules and by the elliptical polarization of the incident radiation. A small (+/-5%) discrepancy between theory and experiment has been found for bands with high absorbances. It is found that this discrepancy does not depend on birefringence of the sample but may depend on the precise method of absorbance measurement and on effects at the surface of the cell containing the liquid crystal under test.

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