Abstract

Simple analytic formulas are given for the real and imaginary parts of the dielectric function of an absorbing medium in terms of the TE and TM reflectances Rs and Rp. An analysis of the formulas shows zero/zero instability at 0°, 45°, and 90° angles of incidence. The instability (extreme sensitivity to experimental error) at 45° is related to the result that Rp=Rs2 at 45° incidence, for all absorbing or nonabsorbing media. It is shown that for materials of large refractive index the deduced values of the real and imaginary parts of the dielectric function are very sensitive to experimental error, even at the optimum angle of incidence.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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