Abstract

We present a formalism for the wave characteristics in gratings and periodic dielectrics based on the linear superposition of retarded fields. The idea is based on the physical picture that an incident field affects the charges in the material forming the gratings and hence leads to oscillating current and charge densities, which in turn generate more fields via the retarded potential. A set of self-consistent equations for the electric field and current and charge densities is derived. Expressions for the electric field everywhere, including the reflected and transmitted fields, are derived. The formalism is then applied to the calculation of diffraction efficiency so as to illustrate its application and to establish its validity by comparing results with the rigorous coupled-wave method. We further generalize the formalism to include possible anisotropy and nonlinearity in the response of the material forming the grating.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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