Numerical instability is usually observed when the propagation matrix method is used to calculate the reflectance and transmittance spectra for the thick one-dimensional inhomogeneous optical structures and media. To remove this numerical instability we applied two procedures, the normalization and the singular-value decomposition, for the propagation matrix and the matrix involved in calculating the matrix of reflection coefficients, respectively. Examples of a cholesteric liquid crystal and a helical structure of ferroelectric liquid crystals with a twist defect show that the modified propagation matrix method is able to accurately calculate the reflectance spectra for thick structures.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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