Random Light Scattering

  • Franz-Josef Haug
Part of the Nano-Optics and Nanophotonics book series (NON)


This chapter presents optical properties of surface textures without any long range order in their geometry. Such textures are usually called random, as opposed to periodic ones like gratings. The random nature is extremely beneficial for applications where the optical response extends over a wide frequency range; suitable operation over an extended spectral domain is thus ensured by the absence of a preferential period, which would otherwise yield undesired selectivity of light scattering into a certain angle for a fixed frequency. To introduce the reader to this burgeoning field in the context of amorphous nanophotonics, this chapter starts by briefly introducing volume and surface scattering. After introducing a few random surface textures of technological importance, Sect. 11.3 discusses the statistical description of random surfaces in terms of root mean square roughness and autocorrelation length. Light scattering is discussed in terms of scalar scattering theory in Sect. 11.4. In Sect. 11.5 a Fourier theory is presented which avoids some of the limitations of scalar theory. Finally, Sect. 11.6 illustrates the application of random surfaces and the description of their scattering properties in thin film solar cells.


Power Spectral Density Scalar Theory Surface Scattering Bidirectional Reflection Distribution Function Random Surface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was funded by the European Union, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Federal Office for Energy. Dr. M. Python is thankfully acknowledged for recording the images in Figs. 11.2 and 11.3, Dr. K. Jäger of the Technical University of Delft provided the data for Fig. 11.13.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)Institute of Microengineering (IMT), Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics LaboratoryNeuchâtelSwitzerland

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