Indexed on: 15 Jan '16Published on: 15 Jan '16Published in: Physics - Materials Science
Propagation of light through a uniaxial material is studied using field theoretical methods. The materials is modeled by cubic lattice of oriented classical Lorentz oscillators. A two-step coarse graining approach is applied. At the bulk level, excitations of the coupled light-matter system, or polaritons, are described by a Proca-type equation for massive vector bosons. On the microscopic level, multiple scattering is used to relate the sub-luminal speed of the polaritons to the polarizability of the Lorentz oscillators. For each direction of propagation of the polaritons, three independent polarizations exist, consistent with the integer spin of massive vector bosons. Reflection and refraction are calculated by imposing the requirement of a uniform gauge for the electromagnetic vector potential across the interface of the uniaxial molecular material and vacuum. Reflectance spectra near the resonance frequency are calculated. The spectra feature a characteristic minimum in middle of the reflection band, in agreement with experiment. An incident unpolarized light beam is predicted to refract into three different rays. The model supports surface bound excitations and predicts a Goos-Haenchen shift of the reflected beam upon reflection of light incident from vacuum onto the material.