Anomalous oscillations in the spectra of light backscattered by inhomogeneous microparticles

Xu Li*, Allen Taflove, Vadim Backman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We report anomalous oscillatory features in the spectra of cross-polarized backscattered light from inhomogeneous dielectric microparticles. Numerical experiments based on the finite-difference-time-domain method demonstrate that cross-polarized backscattered spectra exhibit oscillation frequencies with two a priori surprising features. First, the oscillation frequencies decrease as the correlation length (Lc) of the particle's refractive index increases. Second, high-frequency oscillations exist even for Lc much smaller than the optical wavelength. These findings are exactly opposite to what is observed in co-polarized backscattering spectra, and are not expected from conventional optical scattering theory. We explain this anomalous behavior by examining the path-length distributions of the backscattered photons in the cross polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number037601
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 8 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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