Abstract

The electro-optic effect in internal reflection near the critical angle can directly modulate the reflectance of an optical beam with microwave electrical signals. The measured change in reflectance is 1.3 × 10−6 Vrms−1 cm for each applied microwave electric field, and modulation has been detected with input microwave signals as small as 10 mVrms. We present the theoretical explanation of this interaction in two complementary pictures, one picture based on nonlinear-optical theory and one based on electro-optics. Our experiments with fundamental optical and electrical properties match the predictions of both theories. The most salient feature of the electro-optic effect in internal reflection is that the strength of the modulation peaks sharply at the critical angle.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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