Anomalous birefringence of light in free-standing samples of porous silicon
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- Kompan, M.E., Salonen, J. & Shabanov, I.Y. J. Exp. Theor. Phys. (2000) 90: 324. doi:10.1134/1.559107
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The birefringence of light in freely suspended samples of porous silicon is observed and investigated. The effect is interpreted as “shape birefringence,” i.e., the effect caused by the structure of a material consisting of anisotropic formations with sizes less than the wavelength of the light and with a predominant orientation. It is checked experimentally that the samples do not possess optical activity or optical anisotropy in the plane of the porous-silicon film. It is determined that the effect is observed for polarization of incident light that rules out the possibility of observing birefringence in a uniform optical medium, and it is not observed in the conventional experimental geometry. Qualitative explanations are given for the anomalous character of the observed defect.