Observation of mutual extinction and transparency in light scattering

Alfredo Rates Soriano, Ad Lagendijk*, Ozan Akdemir, Allard Mosk, Willem L. Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Interference of scattered waves is fundamental for modern light-scattering techniques, such as optical wavefront shaping. Recently, a new type of wavefront shaping was introduced where the extinction is manipulated instead of the scattered intensity. The underlying idea is that upon changing the phases or the amplitudes of incident beams, the total extinction will change due to interference described by the cross terms between different incident beams. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the mutual extinction and transparency effects in scattering media, in particular, a human hair and a silicon bar. To this end, we send two light beams with a variable mutual angle on the sample. Depending on the relative phase of the incident beams, we observe either nearly zero extinction, mutual transparency, or almost twice the single-beam extinction, mutual extinction, in agreement with theory. We use an analytical approximation for the scattering amplitude, starting from a completely opaque object, and we discuss the limitations of our approximation. We discuss the applications of the mutual extinction and transparency effects in various fields such as non-line-of-sight communications, microscopy, and biomedical imaging.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043515
JournalPhysical review A : atomic, molecular, and optical physics and quantum information
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2021


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