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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Sep 19;101(12):120601. Epub 2008 Sep 15.

Universal optimal transmission of light through disordered materials.

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Complex Photonic Systems, Faculty of Science and Technology, and MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.


We experimentally demonstrate increased diffuse transmission of light through strongly scattering materials. Wave front shaping is used to selectively couple light to the open transport eigenchannels, specific solutions of Maxwell's equations which the sample transmits fully, resulting in an increase of up to 44% in the total angle-integrated transmission compared to the case where plane waves are incident. The results for each of several hundreds of experimental runs are in excellent quantitative agreement with random matrix theory. From our measurements we conclude that with perfectly shaped wave fronts the transmission of a disordered sample tends to a universal value of 2/3, regardless of the thickness.

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