We present a study of optical transport properties of powder layers with submicrometer, strongly scattering gallium arsenide (GaAs) particles. Uniform, thin samples with well controlled thicknesses were created through the use of varying grinding times, sedimentation fractionation, annealing, and a new sedimentation technique. These fabrication parameters were optimized to produce maximum scattering and minimum absorption. The physical properties were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and x-ray diffraction. The optical transport mean-free path, absorption length, and the diffusion constant were determined for each sample using both continuous wave and time-resolved methods. The samples scatter strongly in the near infrared region. Total reflection and transmission measurements show that all of these samples have high absorption. X-ray diffraction results suggest that the source of this absorption is grinding induced strain and/or defects in the crystal structure. For all the different grinded GaAs powder samples that we investigated, the absorption length was less than ten micrometers.

Phys. Rev. B

van der Beek, T., Barthelemy, P., Johnson, P. M., Wiersma, D. S., & Lagendijk, A. (2012). Light transport through disordered layers of dense gallium arsenide submicron particles. Phys. Rev. B, 85(Article number: 115401), 1–11. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.85.115401