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Regimes of Surface Roughness Measurable with Light Scattering



Theodore V. Vorburger, Egon Marx, T Lettieri


In this paper we summarize a number of previous experiments on the measurement of the roughness of metallic surfaces by light scattering. We identify several regimes that permit measurement of different surface parameters and functions, and we establish approximate limits for each regime. Using a straightforward criterion, we calculate that the smooth-surface regime, in which the angular distribution of scattered light is closely related to the power spectral density of the roughness, ranges over 0?< s/l?<?0.05, where s is the rms roughness and l is the optical wavelength. Above that the surface autocorrelation function may be calculated from a Fourier transform of the angular distribution over 0?<?s/l?<?0.14. Then comes the specular regime where the specular beam can still be identified and measured over 0?<?s/l?<?0.3. For all these regimes and for rougher surfaces too, the rms width of the scatter distribution is proportional to the rms slope of the surface.
Applied Optics


angle-resolved scattering, autocorrelation, autocovariance, bidirectional reflectance distribution function, light scattering, power spectral density, rms roughness, rms slope, specular beam, surface roughness


Vorburger, T. , Marx, E. and Lettieri, T. (1993), Regimes of Surface Roughness Measurable with Light Scattering, Applied Optics (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created December 31, 1992, Updated October 12, 2021