Analytic height correlation function of rough surfaces derived from light scattering
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We derive an analytic expression for the height correlation function of a homogeneous, isotropic rough surface based on the inverse wave scattering method of Kirchhoff theory. The expression directly relates the height correlation function to diffuse scattered intensity along a linear path at fixed polar angle. We test the solution by measuring the angular distribution of light scattered from rough silicon surfaces and comparing extracted height correlation functions to those derived from atomic force microscopy (AFM). The results agree closely with AFM over a wider range of roughness parameters than previous formulations of the inverse scattering problem, while relying less on large-angle scatter data. Our expression thus provides an accurate analytical equation for the height correlation function of a wide range of surfaces based on measurements using a simple, fast experimental procedure.