Superenhanced backscattering of light by nanoparticles

Zhigang Chen*, Alien Taflove, Xu Li, Vadim Backman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We report a physical explanation for the phenomenon wherein the backscattering of light by dielectric particles of sizes between 100 and 1 nm is enhanced by 7-11 orders of magnitude. The phenomenon involves complex composite interactions between a dielectric microsphere and a nanoparticle positioned in close proximity to the microsphere. We provide both analytical and perturbation analyses that show that the enhanced backscattering intensity of a nanoparticle is proportional to the third power of its size parameter. Potential applications of this phenomenon include visible-light detection, characterization, and manipulation of particles as small as a few nanometers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-198
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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