Abstract

We have derived analytic expressions for the angular distribution of light emitted by an atomic system, e.g., a fluorescent molecule, located in a dielectric medium 1 at distance <i>z</i><sub>0</sub> from the interfaceto a different dielectric medium 2. The theory is rigorously valid for electric and magnetic dipole transitions with arbitrary orientation of the dipole transition moment. (In Paper II [J. Opt. Soc. Am. 57, 1615–1619 (1977)], only the special case of dipoles oriented perpendicular to the interface had been treated.) The radiation patterns of dipoles located on the interface (<i>z</i><sub>0</sub> = 0) and oriented parallelto it, and ensembles of such dipoles radiating incoherently with randomly oriented dipole moments were examined in particular. They differ greatly from the corresponding well-known dipole radiation patterns in an unbounded medium 1, due to the wide-angle interferences of emitted plane waves, and radiation from evanescent waves in the dipole’s near field into medium 2, if this is denser than medium 1.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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