We introduce the concept of Rayleigh reflectors where extremely sharp angular spectra with unity reflectance are obtained across considerable angular extents. Enabling the device is a rapid, high-efficiency transition from an evanescent to a propagating first-order substrate wave occurring at the Rayleigh angle. A high-index nanolayer located adjacent to the substrate is seen to critically affect the resulting spectra. Away from the Rayleigh anomaly, the device is a basic guided-mode resonance (GMR) high reflector. Hence, this device connects the fundamental concepts of GMR and the Rayleigh anomaly with interesting possible applications, including filters and couplers.
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