Europhys. Lett.
Volume 69, Number 2, January 2005
Page(s) 207 - 213
Section Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics
Published online 17 December 2004
Europhys. Lett., 69 (2), pp. 207-213 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10341-0

Theory of the propagation of coupled waves in arbitrarily inhomogeneous stratified media

K. Kim1, D.-H. Lee2 and H. Lim3

1  Department of Molecular Science and Technology, Ajou University - Suwon, Korea
2  Department of Astronomy and Space Science, Kyung Hee University - Yongin, Korea
3  Department of Electrical Engineering, Ajou University - Suwon, Korea

received 3 September 2004; accepted in final form 12 November 2004
published online 17 December 2004

We generalize the invariant imbedding theory of wave propagation and derive new invariant imbedding equations for the propagation of an arbitrary number of coupled waves of any kind in arbitrarily inhomogeneous stratified media, where the wave equations are effectively one-dimensional. By doing this, we transform the original boundary value problem of coupled second-order differential equations to an initial value problem of coupled first-order differential equations, which makes the numerical solution of the coupled wave equations much easier. Using the invariant imbedding equations, we are able to calculate the matrix reflection and transmission coefficients and the wave amplitudes inside the inhomogeneous media exactly and efficiently. We establish the validity and the usefulness of our results by applying them to the propagation of circularly polarized electromagnetic waves in one-dimensional photonic crystals made of isotropic chiral media. We find that there are three kinds of bandgaps in these structures and clarify the nature of these bandgaps by exact calculations.

41.20.Jb - Electromagnetic wave propagation; radiowave propagation.
42.25.Bs - Wave propagation, transmission and absorption.
42.70.Qs - Photonic bandgap materials.

© EDP Sciences 2005