Cluster model of polarization upon reflection from metallic surfaces
Baldwin, Craig Wesley
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Polarization of light due to metallic reflection is at best only partially explained by current models. A new model is proposed to account for this phenomenon involving "native clusters". These clusters are assumed to be an integral part of metallic bulk surfaces and to manifest their dielectric properties in the visible region. As index of refraction may be computed based on a pseudo-Brewster angle, that angle of incidence where the minimum perpendicular reflectance occurs. Next the model identifies the cluster-to-bulk surface area ratio of the material and formulates the contribution of reflection from these areas by utilizing the Fresnel equations. Reflectance from the remainder, the bulk-surface area, is computed by applying conventional metallic reflection techniques. By combining the two contributions of reflectance for angles of incidence from 0 to 90 degrees, reflectance curves are generated for gold, silver, nickel and aluminum. These calculations assume a wide-band radiating source of light. Although the magnitude of reflectance for the model showed some variance over the range of angles of incidence (within 10%), the curves are similar in shape. The minimum perpendicular reflectance and grazing angles in incidence are consistent with experimental findings. The computer surface ratio for each metal varies indirectly with the metals' normal reflectance value, as expected from the model. Spectral information on the complex index of refraction is included to infer probable cluster size.
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