Light in correlated disordered media

K Vynck and R Pierrat and R Carminati and LS Froufe-PĂ©rez and F Scheffold and R Sapienza and S Vignolini and JJ Saenz, REVIEWS OF MODERN PHYSICS, 95, 045003 (2023).

DOI: 10.1103/RevModPhys.95.045003

The optics of correlated disordered media is a conceptually rich research topic emerging at the interface between the physics of waves in complex media and nanophotonics. Inspired by photonic structures in nature and enabled by advances in nanofabrication processes, recent investigations have unveiled how the design of structural correlations down to the subwavelength scale could be exploited to control the scattering, transport, and localization of light in matter. From optical transparency to superdiffusive light transport to photonic gaps, the optics of correlated disordered media challenges our physical intuition and offers new perspectives for applications. This review examines the theoretical foundations, state-of-the-art experimental techniques, and major achievements in the study of light interaction with correlated disorder, covering a wide range of systems: from short-range correlated photonic liquids to Le ' vy glasses containing fractal heterogeneities to hyperuniform disordered photonic materials. The mechanisms underlying light scattering and transport phenomena are elucidated on the basis of rigorous theoretical arguments. Ongoing research on mesoscopic phenomena such as transport phase transitions and speckle statistics and the current development of disorder engineering for applications such as light-energy management and visual appearance design are overviewed. Finally, special efforts are made to identify the main theoretical and experimental challenges to address in the near future.

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