Ultimate Absorption in Light Scattering by a Finite Obstacle
Abstract
Based on fundamental properties of the light scattering by a particle under a plane, linearly polarized wave illumination, we rigorously prove the existence of the ultimate upper limit for the light absorption by any partial mode and calculate this limit explicitly. The limit is a certain simple universal function of the incident light wave number, and the multipolarity of the corresponding partial mode solely. It does not depend on the optical constants of the scatterer, its size, or even its shape. First, we obtain this result for the scattering by a spherical particle. Then, we generalize it to an arbitrary finite obstacle. The results are valid for any polarization of the incident wave, any angle of its incidence, and any type of the scatterer (homogeneous, stratified, or with smoothly variable refractive index). We also prove that the maximal partial absorption cross section for any finite scatterer cannot exceed the corresponding value for a homogeneous sphere in 3D and circular cylinder in 2D. As an example, the results are applied to maximize the absorption cross section of a spherical coreshell structure.
 Publication:

Physical Review Letters
 Pub Date:
 January 2018
 DOI:
 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.033902
 Bibcode:
 2018PhRvL.120c3902M