Light scattering from the volume of optical thin films: theory and experiment.
A theoretical model is presented that describes the volume scattering in thin optical films, particularly in typical columnar structures. It is based on a first-order perturbation theory that concerns the fluctuation of the dielectric permittivity in the film. For evaporated PbF(2) films that show a pronounced columnar morphology, angular as well as total integrated scattering measurements at lambda = 633 nm have been performed on a special layer design to suppress roughness-induced scattering. A comparison of the predicted theoretical and the measured experimental values leads to such structural parameters as packing density and the evolutionary exponent of the columns.