Visualization of Directional Beaming of Weakly Localized Raman from a Random Network of Silicon Nanowires

Maria J. Lo Faro, Giovanna Ruello, Antonio A. Leonardi, Dario Morganti, Alessia Irrera, Francesco Priolo, Sylvain Gigan, Giorgio Volpe & Barbara Fazio


Disordered optical media are an emerging class of materials that can strongly scatter light. These materials are useful to investigate light transport phenomena and for applications in imaging, sensing and energy storage. While coherent light can be generated using such materials, its directional emission is typically hampered by their strong scattering nature. Here, the authors directly image Rayleigh scattering, photoluminescence and weakly localized Raman light from a random network of silicon nanowires via real‐space microscopy and Fourier imaging. Direct imaging enables us to gain insight on the light transport mechanisms in the random material, to visualize its weak localization length and to demonstrate out‐of‐plane beaming of the scattered coherent Raman light. The direct visualization of coherent light beaming in such random networks of silicon nanowires offers novel opportunities for fundamental studies of light propagation in disordered media. It also opens venues for the development of next generation optical devices based on disordered structures, such as sensors, light sources, and optical switches.

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