Hidden Black: Coherent Enhancement of Absorption in Strongly-scattering Media


We show that a weakly absorbing, strongly scattering (white) medium can be made very strongly absorbing at any frequency within its strong-scattering bandwidth by optimizing the input electromagnetic field. For uniform absorption, results from random matrix theory imply that the reflectivity of the medium can be suppressed by a factor ~(l_a/lN^2), where N is the number of incident channels and l,l_a are the elastic and absorption mean free paths respectively. It is thus possible to increase absorption from a few percent to > 99%. For a localized weak absorber buried in a non-absorbing scattering medium, we find a large but bounded enhancement.Comment: 4 pages, 4 figure

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