Universal optimal transmission of light through disordered materials

Ivo Micha Vellekoop, Allard Mosk

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We experimentally demonstrate increased diffuse transmission of light through strongly scattering materials. Wave front shaping is used to selectively couple light to the open transport eigenchannels, specific solutions of Maxwell's equations which the sample transmits fully, resulting in an increase of up to 44% in the total angle-integrated transmission compared to the case where plane waves are incident. The results for each of several hundreds of experimental runs are in excellent quantitative agreement with random matrix theory. From our measurements we conclude that with perfectly shaped wave fronts the transmission of a disordered sample tends to a universal value of 2/3, regardless of the thickness.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number120601
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • IR-59929
  • METIS-250414

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