Abstract

A phenomenological model for photochromic films incorporating bacteriorhodopsin (BR) molecules is developed. Equations for the propagation of electromagnetic waves inside a BR film and the temporal evolution of the volume population densities of the molecular states of BR are derived and subsequently coupled in a self-consistent fashion by means of an expression for the overall susceptibility of the film. Solutions for the scattered fields in a slab geometry are given in terms of the appropriate dyadic Green’s functions, and perturbative approximations through the Born and the Rytov methods are discussed. The theory provides an analytical framework within which various optical data storage and processing applications for BR films may be studied.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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