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Effective Optical Properties of Non-Absorbing Nanoporous Media


Numerous effective medium models have been proposed for the effective optical properties nanoporous media. However, validations of these models against experimental data are often contradictory and inconclusive. This issue was numerically investigated by solving the two-dimensional Maxwell's equations in non-absorbing nanoporous thin-films with various morphologies. It was found that below a certain critical film thickness, the effective index of refraction depends on the porosity and on the pore size, shape and spatial distribution. For thick enough films the effective index of refraction depends solely on porosity and on the indices of refraction of the two phases. The numerical results agree very well with a recent model obtained by applying the Volume Averaging Theory to the Maxwell's equations. However, commonly used models systematically and sometimes significantly underpredict the numerical results.

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